Ignoring even a single missing tooth is harmful to your oral health. A gap in your smile can lead to teeth shifting, bite problems, difficulty biting and chewing food, and embarrassment. Not to mention, once a tooth is missing, the underlying bone will begin to slowly deteriorate. These negative consequences can impact your quality of life. We will suggest a single dental implant, as this solution is the best option for health and aesthetic purposes. We can replace your missing tooth with an implant-supported crown in Columbia, MD.
What is an Implant-Supported Crown?
The best dental restoration to replace a tooth is an implant-supported crown. It is made up of three parts that help it function like a natural tooth. A single dental implant is the first piece, and it must be surgically inserted into the jaw bone. The dental implant will act as a replacement tooth root and support a dental crown.
The next part is called an abutment. This is a small piece that connects the implant to the dental crown. The last part is the dental crown. A dental crown is custom-made to resemble a natural tooth. We will create your crown to match the color, shape, and size of your surrounding teeth.
How does a Dental Crown Attach to a Dental Implant?
There are two ways we can secure your custom dental crown to the dental implant. We can use cement or screws.
Cement-Retained Implant Crowns
A cement-retained implant crown provides good aesthetic results. It is the easiest way to secure a dental crown, and the process is less time-consuming. It requires less vertical space, which is beneficial to patients who have little space between their teeth or who have high lip lines. It also offers a lot of flexibility when placing the crown around adjacent teeth.
There is a significant disadvantage to cementing the crown to the dental implant. It is very difficult to remove once it is in place. If, for some reason, you need to remove the crown to reach the implant or abutment, it will be very difficult to reach them. Another downside is the presence of cement remnants. There is a small chance that small pieces of cement will be left behind, which can lead to gum irritation and even an infection.
Screw-Retained Dental Crowns
A screw-retained dental crown offers the most secure fit. The dentist will secure the crown to the abutment using a small screw. He will be able to easily remove and replace the crown in case the implant or abutment needs to be accessed. It also offers a very predictable and precise fit. The crown will never become dislodged, making it the most durable, long-term solution. They are also easier to care for compared to dental crowns that are cemented to the dental implants.
However, the dental crown will have a small hole where the screw must go. This can create some aesthetic issues. The crown requires a lot of customization because the hole must be precise and there is little space to access the screw hole. A screw retained dental crown requires more vertical space due to the screw hole, and for some patients, this is not feasible. For these reasons, the placement of this type of crown can be complicated and time-consuming. The alignment must be perfect, or it will affect your bite.
Implant-Supported Crown vs. Dental Bridge
There are many benefits to choosing an implant-supported crown over a dental bridge. A dental bridge relies on the adjacent teeth for support. We will need to permanently reduce the size of these anchor teeth to accommodate the bridge. They will also endure extra stress. An implant-supported crown does not rely on adjacent teeth for support. Your natural, remaining teeth will remain intact.
Also, a dental bridge does not replace the tooth at the root. Replacing the tooth root is important for preserving the jaw bone and preventing bone loss in the jaw. The dental implant will act as a replacement tooth root to help regenerate the jaw bone and prevent bone loss.
However, an implant-supported dental bridge is more expensive because it requires surgery and sophisticated materials. It also takes several months to complete the process. A dental bridge can be completed in two visits and is fairly affordable.
If you are interested in replacing your tooth with a single dental implant, book a consultation today. We offer implant-supported crowns in Columbia, MD because they are the number one solution to replace a missing tooth. To schedule your visit, call (410) 415-9013 or request an appointment online.