The last part of the dental implant procedure is placement of the implant crown, which occurs after the fixture (titanium post placed in the jawbone) has fully integrated with the surrounding jawbone and can provide sufficient stability to secure the crown. Prior to performing this part of the procedure, local anesthesia will be applied to numb the area where the post is being placed.
Once your periodontist has determined that your implant is ready to support the crown, an abutment is placed and an impression taken for the implant crown, which will then be designed in a laboratory. The technician will use this impression to design a crown that looks realistic, matches your surrounding teeth, and feels just like your natural teeth.
Following this, the abutment is screwed into placed and a temporary crown is attached, which will be used for the next four to six weeks to allow for the gums to heal. While this crown is not as strong as your permanent crown will be, it will help the jawbone become stronger and protect the implant while your permanent crown is being designed and is ready to be placed.
Once the crown is designed and you have healed, a final follow up appointment will be scheduled where your permanent implant crown will be secured using dental cement to bind the crown or the crown will be screwed into place. It may be necessary to make minor adjustments if the shape of the crown is causing some slight misalignment. After testing your bite and ensuring the appearance and fit of your crown is correct, the dental implant process will be complete, and you can begin enjoying a full, healthy looking smile.
Which Type of Implant Crown is Right for You?
There are two broad categories of dental implants: fixed and removable. A fixed dental implant involves permanently screwing or bonding the dental crown on the abutment, after which the tooth cannot be removed. This type of implant provides the greatest stability and does not require additional special maintenance, which is why many periodontists recommend this option for patients. If removable dentures are placed, a special retainer abutment will be used with a male and female adapter that attach the denture and implant together. This design provides stability while allowing for the denture to move, which results in improved functionality and comfort compared to traditional dentures.
There are several factors that will determine what type of abutment is best suited for you, including whether you are getting a removable denture, fixed bridge, or crown, whether the abutment is going to be attached with special retainers, lag screws, or dental cement, and where in the mouth the implant is being placed.
Choose the Right Parts for Your Dental Implant
When deciding what type of material you want to use for your dental implant crown, it is important to consider how important the aesthetic appearance of your implant is and the importance of durability. While there are cheaper material options for implant crowns, the drawback to these options is that they often do not appear as natural and are far less durable compared to crowns that are made of ceramic or porcelain. If you have additional questions about the pros and cons of different material types for implant crowns, schedule an appointment with your periodontist, who can answer any remaining questions you may have.