One or more missing teeth can alter both the smile aspect and the mandibular function, so replacing a missing tooth is always important to avoid complications and severe teeth misalignments that may even alter the chewing process and the jaw joint function.
There are different techniques available to replace a missing tooth, such as using a tooth implant or undergoing a tooth transplant. But, tooth transplant is considered by the experts an excellent option for most patients.
Tooth transplant is not a new treatment, the records show that it has been used for centuries (approximately from 1500s B.C.) in the Egyptian culture. But, the techniques used to perform this procedure are improved every day.
What Is a Tooth Transplant?
The authors of a study called "Autogenous tooth transplantation for replacing a lost tooth: case reports" and the experts define a tooth transplant, or tooth transplantation, as an alternative procedure used to replace a missing, damaged or diseased tooth, with the tooth of a donor (heterologous) or a tooth from the same patient (autologous).
The tooth transplants are also considered by the dentist Peter Reich as an excellent substitute for dental implants procedure.
Experts will recommend using another tooth from the same patient or a tooth from a donor, according to the availability of a suitable donor tooth. Each way of treatment has advantages and disadvantages and will be selected for each case according to the patient's particular needs.
Who Should Have a Tooth Transplant?
Many experts say that good candidates for a tooth transplant are young patients who were born with congenital anomalies in their teeth, patients who have lost any tooth during a trauma or injury or patients who have lost any tooth for any reason and the space causes a gap in the maxilla or mandible that alters the normal function of these structures.
However, some dentists prefer to wait until the adult's teeth are in their place to perform the transplant. It always depends on the patient's needs and characteristics.
How Is a Tooth Transplant Performed?
A tooth transplant procedure can be more complicated and painful than others, so the dentist will use local anesthesia associated or not to sedation during the procedure.
During the first step, the dental surgeon will remove the damaged tooth and will prepare the area where it was placed to insert the new tooth. If the patient had lost his/her tooth, the dentist will also check the presence or not of dental roots before performing the transplantation.
During the next step, a suitable donor tooth is carefully extracted from the patient and it is placed in the area that was previously prepared. Most dentists use a suture splint for 1 or 2 weeks to maintain the tooth in its place. When the donor tooth is from a donor patient, it is prepared and cleaned before the first step (tooth extraction).
According to the number of teeth that will be transplanted, the procedure will last between 30 minutes and some hours. Finally, the patient must go to the subsequent checkups with the dentist to guarantee good results and treat the new tooth with a filling material.
Are the Tooth Transplants Successful?
Experts say that approximately 80% of all the autologous tooth transplantations are successful in the treatment of edentulous arches (missing tooth in one or both jaws) regardless of the patients' age or tooth location.
What Are the Advantages of Having a Tooth Transplant?
Among the main advantages of undergoing a tooth transplant, the fact that using natural implants (especially autologous) has a better prognosis than using artificial implants, can be included. Likewise, this procedure is less expensive, and it can be performed in young people.
What Are the Disadvantages of Having a Tooth Transplant?
Among the main disadvantages of undergoing a tooth transplant there are the facts that the new tooth is susceptible to developing cavities with the time and the transplant can't be used in all the jaw regions, so some patients are not good candidates for the procedure. Likewise, the availability of a donor tooth is necessary.
How Much Does a Tooth Transplant Cost?
The cost of a tooth transplant procedure will vary according to the need for preparing the teeth before the procedure and the kind of procedures used to prepare them, the number of teeth that must be transplanted, the origin of the transplanted tooth (another patient’s tooth or other person’s tooth), the place where the procedure will be performed, among others.
The final result of a cosmetic dental procedure and the patient's satisfaction depends on the dentist quality, the time spent and the country where it is performed.