Tooth loss can result from gum diseases, trauma, or natural effects and can significantly affect your confidence, cause speech, and eating issues. Although the role of teeth in regards to your appearance is overlooked, having bad or no teeth on your jawline can significantly affect your personality. When you begin losing teeth, you will realize that your self-esteem will go down, plus you might start to feel less presentable. At Northridge Dental Implant Center, we understand that dental problems can really affect your confidence and health. Our dental experts are, therefore, available to restore your oral health and confidence by providing the best dental treatment. We provide treatment for dental implant crowns to restore the shape, strength, and size of your tooth to look natural.
Overview of Dental Implant Crowns
If you have lost teeth, dental implant crowns are the best way to have your teeth back. Dental implants are screw-like artificial roots that are placed on the jaw bone to support artificial teeth referred to as a crown. Dental implant crowns are, therefore, the tooth-shaped caps that cover the dental implant. They are the final touches after a dental implant to provide aesthetically appealing functional teeth. Crowns are part of the dental implant and are designed such that they look like natural teeth. Connecting the crown and the dental implant is the abutment, also referred to as the connector. Dental implant crowns can be made of a variety of materials such as ceramic, gold, and silver.
Installation of Dental Implant Crowns
Before the process of getting an implant commences to replace your lost teeth, you must be cleared for the treatment first. Not everyone is eligible for this procedure, so your dentist must ask about your health or medical history, and if you suffer from any chronic condition. A condition like diabetes might interfere with the healing process after the dental implant crown.
Also, your dentist will not be shy to inquire about any alcohol or tobacco use during the consultation. The use of the substances can hinder your healing; hence, you will be required to abstain from them before, during, and after the procedure. During the consultation, part of the diagnostic tests to be done is the x-ray test to determine the density of your bones. If you lack enough bone tissue to hold the implant, then the procedure won’t be conducted.
If you are given the go-ahead for the surgery, the dentist is going to walk you through the whole process before it begins. You will also be informed about the various forms of anesthesia available. Dentists will also give you the timeline for the procedure so that by the time you agree to it, you might not regret the decision.
The Procedure for Installing Dental Implant Crowns
Many people are afraid of dentists because they associate dental treatment with pain. To prevent the anxiety that comes with this procedure, here is a guide for the installation of dental implant crowns.
- Placement of the implant
The process begins by an opening being made on your gum so that the jaw bone can be reached where a tooth has been removed. A hole is then drilled in the bone so that the prosthetic or implant can be placed. Drilling a hole in a jaw bone causes a lot of discomfort or pain, which is why the dentists use anesthesia to numb the area surrounding the tooth being replaced. So, if you were to avoid the process because of fear of pain, you should no longer be afraid. The reason being you might not feel any pain apart from some unnoticeable discomfort after the procedure. Note that you might experience swelling and bleeding after the surgery, but these things are normal, and there are medications available for such issues.
Based on the type of implant used in the incision, the process ends after the implant has been hauled. For conventional implants, the opening is closed, and the recovery process begins. During this healing period, the jaw bone and the implant grow together to form a durable and robust base or tooth root. If need be, the dentist might suggest a temporary tooth because the healing process might be prolonged. The healing process can go up to six months, which is why you might need a temporary tooth. In the event your dentist suggests a temporary tooth, he or she will advise you on how long you will have the tooth on and what you need to take good care of it. Where there is no need for temporary teeth, you must stick to soft foods to allow the tooth to heal without any interference.
- Placement of the Abutment
After your dentist is sure that the implant has connected well with the jaw bone, the next phase is the placement of a connector or abutment. The abutment will be placed after confirmation of a strong base by the dentist. The connector acts as a medium connecting or attaching the dental implant to the dental crown. In some incidences, however, the dentist doesn’t have to wait for the implant to heal before placing an abutment. They can set the implant and abutment at the same time.
- Taking Imitations or Replications for the Custom Teeth
After the abutment has been positioned, you are given time for the gum to heal since the abutment will be placed in the gum line. Once you have recovered, the dentist will begin taking replications of your mouth and teeth adjacent to the implant to get measurements for designing the implant crown or the artificial teeth. Note that for mini-dental implants, a crown can be attached the same day as the dental implant even without having to wait for the implant to fuse with the jaw bone. After the teeth measurement has been done, the artificial teeth are molded to replicate your teeth in a dental laboratory.
With the recent advancements in technology, the manufacturing of implant crowns has been made easier primarily because of the CAD technology. The designing technology helps display the teeth in a 3-D image, making it easy to create a perfect crown. Once the crown has been created, it is attached to the implant, and the procedure is completed. Note that implant crowns never decay because they have no roots. However, they need proper care and maintenance to last long.
Recovery and Aftercare
The work of the dentist doesn’t end after the installation of the implant crowns. He or she must provide tips for maintaining healthy teeth. Brushing your teeth often promotes healthy oral hygiene. Also, it is advisable to avoid hard foods and ice because these easily damage the implant crowns. People who are used to clenching their teeth, especially when sleeping, are advised to wear mouthguards to protect the teeth from damage. Frequent clenching of teeth reduces the lifespan of dental implant crowns.
The lifespan of the implant crowns mostly depends on how well they were fitted. If your dentist did a poor job, the implant could create room for bacteria to grow, which can result in more severe tooth decay. Aside from proper installation, the other thing you need is to keep your teeth clean to protect the gums from bacteria that might expose the crown margin. Regular visits to the dentist are also advisable.
The Main Types of Dental Implant Crowns
Whenever a dental implant is installed, the other crucial thing you should begin to think about is the type of crown that will fit perfectly and serve your needs. Remember, the crown is the one that will be visible, which is why your choice is paramount. At Northridge Dental Implant Center, the two main options for dental implant crowns are the screw-retained and cemented implant crowns. These types of crowns are further discussed below.
Screwed-In Dental Implant Crowns
They are also called screw-retained crowns. They are made of lingual and occlusal screws. The devices have holes on the sides that allow the attachment of the restoration with the implant.
Cement-Retained Dental Crowns
These are attached to the connector or the abutment. They provide a quick and appealing permanent attachment to the implant.
Comparison Between Screwed-In and Cement-Retained Crowns
If you decide to either using cement retained or screw-retained prostheses, there are pros and cons. Below are some of the pros and cons of these implant crowns:
- Ease of Fabrication and Costs
Cement retained restorations are much easier to fabricate that the screwed-in restorations. The reason being the available conventional and clinical techniques are used in making cement-retained crowns.
On the issue of cost, the screwed-in restorations are costlier than the cement restorations because with screwed in crowns, additional fixation screws and plastic sleeves are required. It is essential to note that despite the high cost of screwed in crowns, they are easy to retrieve and repair, plus they are less likely to be damaged during retrieval. But if you look at the cemented restoration, although they are pocket-friendly, during removal, they can be easily damaged, which can increase the cost of treatment.
On the issue of aesthetic appeal, both implants, if placed in the right location, can make your teeth presentable. Although with screwed in restorations, the access channel to the screw might block the beautiful area, you can use a connector to relocate the access channel leaving the appealing part visible.
When you have a limited jaw opening, cement restorations are the best because they are easier to access. Also, on the issue of safety, screw-retained crowns are risky because, during removal or installation, you might end up swallowing the screws or the screwdriver.
It is defined as the way teeth get in contact when the upper and lower jaws meet. If the teeth do not get into contact well during functioning, it might result in dental diseases, speech problems and also affect the appeal of the teeth. If you opt for cement-retained restoration, you will have a normal teeth contact because there are no occlusal screw holes involved. For better occlusion, cement-retained restorations or crowns are the best options.
The advantage of screwed in crowns is that you can be guaranteed of removal of the crown without causing damage to the fixture or the crown. Additionally, it is easy to fasten the screws when they loosen and repair broken components. It is not easy to retrieve a restoration in cement-retained crowns. However, techniques have been developed to incorporate screws in cement-retained crowns to make the process of retrieval easier.
- Restriction of Implant Position
When getting screwed in implant, for the right beauty or appeal to be achieved, the crowns must be positioned precisely. But in cement-retained restorations, there is freedom for placing the implant with no precise positioning.
Materials Used in Dental Implant Crowns
Crowns can be differentiated in a variety of ways, primarily based on the materials they are made from. These implant crowns include:
Stainless Steel Crowns
These are used temporarily and protect the tooth while the dentist prepares the permanent artificial teeth. If your natural tooth is decaying, a stainless steel crown is fitted to protect the primary tooth from further decay. These types of crowns come out quickly when the time for installing a permanent tooth comes. They also require low maintenance, reducing the number of visits to the dentist, which makes them highly suitable for children.
Metal alloys are also used in making crowns. These alloys contain high concentrations of gold or platinum. The high price of metals like gold and the metallic color of these crowns is what might discourage many from buying. However, they have many advantages because they never chip and are long-lasting because of their high resistance to wear.
These are a much better option because they are eye-catching, strong, and long-lasting. Unlike the metallic crowns, these can be matched to the color of the adjacent teeth, making them look like natural teeth. If the laboratory technologist designing the crown does the work utterly, and adequate space left during the preparation of the underlying structure, porcelain-fused to metal crowns are your best option. The problem with these crowns is that they might chip and also show underlying metal, especially around the gum line. Despite these disadvantages, if you want metal strength in your front and back teeth, these crowns are the perfect option.
If you are allergic to metals and want crowns for your front or back teeth, all-ceramic crowns are perfect for you. They are beneficial in areas where there is inadequate space in the underlying structure. They don’t require the support of metals, which enables designers to create crowns with a small thickness allowing them to fit in limited spaces. The elimination of the metal core also allows proper light transmission making the crown aesthetically appealing and durable.
All-porcelain crowns are biocompatible since they are metal-free. They are also highly appealing, highly resistant to wear, and durable. Due to their natural color that matches that of the natural teeth, they are best suitable for the front teeth. To achieve optimal beauty from these kinds of crowns, your dentist should make use of CAD technology.
Benefits of Dental Implant Crowns
Losing teeth can significantly affect you in different ways. You can, however, replace the lost teeth with dentures or bridges. However, the best way to way to replace lost teeth is through dental implant crowns. Here are some of the benefits of crown implants:
Dental implant crowns last for a long time. The initial time and cost of getting an implant crown are high. However, once it is fitted, with proper care and regular dental checkups, the crowns can last forever with a low cost of maintenance. Compared to dentures and bridges, in the long-run, implant crowns are less costly and give you a natural feeling for an extended time.
- Enhanced Esthetics
Implant crowns are designed to copy the appearance of the natural teeth. They, therefore, restore and improve the appearance of your teeth. If you opt for screwed in or cement-retained crowns, the appearance of your teeth will be improved.
- Improved Speech
As said earlier, tooth loss alters your speech. But after implant crowns have been fitted, they function like natural teeth, thus restoring your speech. Treatment procedures like dentures affect your ability to pronounce certain words. Dental implant crowns are not like dentures, and because they act naturally, they help enhance your natural speech.
Dental implants are less inconvenience to patients. The reason being patients who have opted for bridges or dentures have reported more cases of pain and discomfort compared to those who have chosen dental implant crowns. The implant crowns are, therefore, an appropriate option compared to other treatments on the issue of sustaining pain and discomfort. The reason dental implant treatment is considered to offer convenience is that after the procedure is completed, the next day, you can resume your normal life.
- Better Outcome
Dental implant crowns can take up to six months for the procedure to be completed. A dentist takes enough time to assess your case and find the best route that is safe for the patient. Note that in this form of treatment, the process of bone stimulation is stimulated, and there is no bone loss. It makes this process of tooth replacement more natural and eliminates all the risks associated with manual teeth replacement.
- No Need to Worry about Dental Cavities
Implant crowns are not connected directly to the tooth root, which means you cannot get dental cavities. However, the fact that you will not get dental cavities doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care for your teeth. You must ensure proper hygiene for the teeth so that the gum line is not infected with bacteria, which might end up causing mouth infections.
- No Slippage
Patients that have opted for dentures as a way of tooth replacement often suffer public embarrassment in case of slippage. Dentures can slip or shift inside the mouth, and this can be very embarrassing, especially if you are speaking, laughing, or eating in public. Dental implant crowns are anchored on a steady base; hence, you don’t have to worry about shifting or slippage.
- Provides Support to Adjacent Teeth
When you lose a tooth and space is left open for a long time, the adjacent teeth might weaken and shift, resulting in misalignment of teeth. Dental implant crowns fill the gaps preventing the misalignment of teeth. You are, therefore, able to maintain an even and straight smile.
- Easy to Care For
After a dental implant crown has been fitted, you are not required to have any unique products to care for the artificial teeth. All that is needed is to brush the teeth and care for them, just like natural teeth.
Alternatives for Dental Implant Crowns
When it comes to the issue of teeth replacement, there are multiple options. However, the majority of people opt for dental implant crowns. Despite most people considering implant crowns as the best option, others don’t prefer this mode of dental treatment because of various reasons. To make an informed decision on what is most suitable for you, you have to understand all the available options. Below are alternatives for dental implant crowns:
- Full-mouth dentures
- Partial dentures
- Fixed bridges
Before deciding to replace a tooth, speak to your dentist about it, and find the best solution one that you won’t have to regret in the future.
Find a Dental Implant Center Near Me
If you lose a tooth and need a replacement, finding the right dental clinic is paramount. At the Northridge Dental Implant Center, we provide professional dental treatment. Our dentists are highly experienced, therefore suitable for providing any form of dental treatment. If you find it difficult to make up your mind on where to get dental implant crowns, we invite you to contact us at 818-925-9181 to speak to one of our dentists.