If you have a missing tooth, Dr. Elizabeth Duling will present two standard ways to replace it. The best way to replace a tooth that needs to be extracted or a tooth that is already lost is with an implant-supported dental bridge or crown. Dr. Duling offers traditional dental bridges and implant-supported crowns in Owens Cross Roads, AL. Dental implants are high-quality titanium anchors that replace teeth at the root. Securing a single implant with a crown will improve the appearance of your smile.
While crowns can use many materials, including metal and ceramic, we prefer porcelain crowns. These crowns match the color and shape of natural teeth. At the same time, they use materials that provide strength.
Preparing for an Implant-Supported Crown in Owens Cross Roads, AL
Before we place your implant, we must ensure you:
- Have healthy teeth and gums
- Do not smoke or use tobacco products during treatment
- Have enough jaw bone to support the implants
Even if you are not currently a candidate for dental implants, we can help you become a good candidate. Before implant treatment, we may recommend:
- Bone grafting
- Gum disease treatment
- Tooth removal
- Root canal treatment
- Dental fillings
Even if you have a single tooth missing, it can create future dental problems. If you lose a tooth due to a severe infection, that tooth or gum infection can affect other teeth in your mouth. In addition, if you do not close the gap left by a missing tooth soon enough, other teeth may shift to close the space. This leads to overcrowding.
Without support from your natural tooth root, you can experience jaw bone loss. The jaw bone helps maintain your face shape. Facial sagging is a common problem among patients with missing teeth.
Harmful bacteria can collect in the missing tooth socket even if you do not lose a tooth due to infection. This can lead to gum and tooth infections. Replacing a missing tooth as soon as possible can help restore your smile’s full appearance, health, and function.
Implant-Supported Crown vs. a Traditional Dental Bridge
You can choose between a dental bridge and an implant if you have a missing tooth. A traditional dental bridge relies on adjacent teeth to support the fixture. We must alter these neighboring teeth, called abutment teeth, to create room for the bridge. The abutment teeth also endure extra stress, making them at risk for damage and decay.
Since the fixture is secured to the remaining teeth, the stability of the whole fixture relies on the health of those teeth. However, a traditional dental bridge is cheaper than an implant-supported crown. We can also provide a bridge in less time.
An implant-supported crown will only replace the tooth that is missing. However, we do not need to alter any healthy, remaining teeth permanently. An implant also replaces the missing tooth root. This will help avoid bone loss in the jaw. Traditional bridges lay on the gums, which means they will not support the health of the gums or underlying jaw bone.
Since the crown is secured to an implant fixed in the jaw bone, it is very stable and durable. However, this solution is more expensive, and the treatment is much longer. It also requires a surgical procedure that some patients may be unable to undergo.
Still, a single crown-capped implant is easier to care for than a traditional bridge. You do not need to remove it for cleaning; you must brush and floss your crown like a natural tooth.
What is an Implant-Supported Crown?
A dental implant-supported crown offers a long-lasting tooth replacement solution in our Owen’s Cross Roads, AL office. Single implants are more reliable than a traditional dental bridge. They are also better for oral health and look more like natural teeth.
We can replace a single missing tooth with an implant crown. A dental implant-supported crown uses a single implant fixture to secure a custom dental crown. First, a surgeon places the metal implant anchor into the jawbone.
This anchor will act as a replacement tooth root. Here, the fixture will stabilize the crown and prevent bone loss in the jaw. An implant needs about three to six months to fuse to the surrounding bone fully. During that time, the jaw bone will grow around the implant.
After that, we will place the small metal piece called an abutment. The abutment will connect the implant to the dental crown. Once the abutment heals, we will attach the final dental crown. We ensure the crown matches the exact shape and shade of surrounding teeth to blend in seamlessly.
How to Secure Implant Crowns
Our dentist can secure the dental crown to the abutment in two ways. Dr. Duling can use cement or a small screw:
Cement-Retained Implant Crowns
A cement-retained implant crown is a common type of implant-supported crown. With this technique, our dentist will use dental cement to bond the custom crown to the abutment. The abutment is custom-made to bond with a cement-retained implant crown. These crowns are easy to clean and maintain. They also provide excellent aesthetics.
Screw-Retained Dental Crowns
Another way to place a crown is for our dentist to secure it to the abutment with a tiny screw. With this technique, we screw the crown onto the abutment. This type of implant crown offers several benefits. Our dentist can easily remove and replace the crown when necessary.
It provides better access if the crown requires maintenance or adjustments. They are also easy to clean and care for and offer good aesthetics for the patient’s smile.
Replace a Single Missing Tooth
Contact Dr. Duling to learn more about treatment with dental implants. We offer implant-supported crowns in Owens Cross Roads, AL, for qualified patients. Implants are more costly and require a longer treatment time than removable restorations. However, implants are the most lasting solution for one or more missing teeth.
Schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Duling online to learn more about what implant treatment can do for your dental health. You can also call the office of Dr. Duling at 256.202.4186 to book your appointment.
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