An implant crown is the last part of a dental implant that is placed once the implant post is installed. The post is surgically inserted into the jaw to osseointegrate while the gums heal. A temporary crown is usually screwed on during this time. When osseointegration and healing are complete, the final crown is screwed on. Crowns are attached to the post by way of an abutment and have the appearance and function of natural teeth.
Why Pick Crowns?
There are a variety of tooth replacement options available, but implants are by far the most effective option. Dentures and bridges might match natural teeth in form and function, but since they don't penetrate deep down, they can't stimulate the jawbone to prevent it from deteriorating when the tooth above is lost. Implants' metal posts are built to bond with the jawbone to keep it healthy. Other options can't copy this essential feature.
Dental implants also provide a permanent solution for tooth loss, and they prevent your remaining natural teeth from shifting towards the gap made by a lost tooth. Since the implants are firmly secured in the jawbone, they look, feel, and function just like your other teeth. You even clean your implants the same way you clean your regular teeth.
What are Crowns Made Of?
A wide array of materials is used for dental crowns, including ceramics, porcelain, metal, porcelain fused to metal, silver, and gold. Gold is the most durable option, but many patients aren't a fan of the appearance of gold teeth. Porcelain and ceramics have the most natural appearance.
Crowns are further divided by the method by which they're attached to the implant. Screw-retained crowns and cement-retained crowns are the two primary types of crowns used for implants. Let's take a closer look at each one.
Screw-Retained Implant Crowns
Screw-retained implant crowns are made of a lingual or occlusal screw. This type of crown is built with a hole on the side of the lingual or occlusal portion, making it possible to attach the restoration to the implant with a fixation screw connected to the external-facing end of the abutment. This design allows us to remove the prosthetic to restore, repair, or clean it.
Because screw-retained crowns are easily removable for repairs and cleaning, the area near the surrounding access hole is subject to chipping. Composite bonding can usually fix this problem, however. This type of crown can also become loose over time, in which case we'll need to retighten them.
Cement-Retained Implant Crowns
Cement-retained crowns are attached above the abutment with dental cement, which keeps the prosthetic permanently attached. This type of crown has straightforward attachments and enhanced visual aesthetics.
This type of crown also has downsides. First, if some of the cement seeps into the patient's gumline, they can suffer inflammation. Cement-retained crowns are also harder to remove, making restorations and repairs more difficult.
If you're interested to see whether or not you're a candidate for dental implants, call us, and we'll schedule a consultation.
For more information, please contact our office at (470) 222-8983.