When a tooth is missing, a dental implant with a crown is an excellent treatment for replacing it. Although each case will be different, placing an implant generally involves two phases, surgically placing the implant and restoring the implant with a crown.
The benefits of an implant with a crown
An implant restored with a crown has several advantages. The implant stops the bone loss that occurs when a tooth is lost, and it prevents the surrounding teeth from shifting into the space. Unlike replacing the tooth with a traditional bridge, there is no need to reduce the size of neighboring teeth. The crown with implant also looks and feels like your natural teeth when you chew and talk. With proper homecare and regular checkups, your implant can be a long-term solution for a natural-looking smile.
Placing the implant
For the surgical placement of the implant, your mouth is thoroughly numbed. An opening is made in your gums, and then a channel is shaped in the bone to receive the implant. Next, we place the body of the implant into the prepared channel. Sometimes a cover is placed onto the implant and the gums are stitched closed. This method is called a two-stage procedure. In other cases that allow a single-stage procedure, an extension is attached to the implant at the time of surgery. Healing may take several months as the implant becomes fused securely to the bone. During this time, we may place a temporary replacement tooth.
Restoring the implant with a crown
If the first phase included closing the gums over the implant, the second phase starts with surgical re-exposure of the implant. Another incision is made in your gums, and a small extension is placed to bring the implant above the gumline. Then we start a series of appointments to create the final crown. Though some of the steps might be different in your case, they usually include removing any temporary and taking impressions of your mouth. The lab uses the impressions to make an accurate model of your mouth, including the implant. They use the model to create a crown that precisely fits the implant and your bite. When your beautiful final crown is ready, we check the fit and your bite and then secure the crown to the implant.
Alternatives for Implants; Fully Edentulous
- When you are missing a full arch of teeth, you have several choices for replacing them:
- Modify a current denture
- Wear a new conventional denture
- Wear an implant-retained denture
- Delay treatment
Modifying a current denture
If you now wear a denture that does not fit well, we may be able to adjust or reline it so that it is more comfortable and functional. Sometimes we can create a better-fitting denture base, reusing the teeth in your current denture.
Wearing a denture
If you have not worn a complete denture before, or if your old one needs replacing, we can create a new denture for you. Dentures can look good and fit well at the start. However, when teeth are missing, the jawbone gradually shrinks, and in some cases, dentures can accelerate bone loss. This shrinkage changes your appearance. It also causes dentures to become loose, making it difficult to chew and talk and causing sores and tender spots to develop.
Wearing an implant denture
An implant denture (fixed denture) is different than a removable denture. An implant denture stays in the mouth, and a removable denture can be taken out of the mouth. Depending on your situation, an implant denture may not be the best choice for you, in which case you have two alternatives to consider: either modify an existing denture or have a new one created.
If you are thinking about delaying treatment, you should know that the jawbone will continue to shrink due to the missing teeth. This means that delaying treatment now will make future treatment more complex.