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FAQs About Implant Crowns
For patients who need to replace missing or damaged teeth, implant crowns are attached to dental implants to mimic the appearance and function of real teeth. There are several different kinds of materials crowns can be made of and various methods that are used to attach them. Since so much goes into creating and placing crowns, patients often have many questions about the process and how to care for the attachment after the procedure is over.
What is the process for implant crowns?
The implant procedure most often is completed in several stages over the course of several months. First, a dentist or oral surgeon will remove the tooth from the area if there is still one remaining and perform bone grafting if necessary. Next, a hole is drilled into the jawbone and a metal implant is placed into the gums.
The site will then need sufficient time to heal and go through the process of osseointegration. Following this step, a temporary crown is placed on the area until a new, permanent implant crown is made and placed. In some cases, implants may be placed on the same day as surgery.
What types of crowns are there?
Crowns can be made from several different materials, including gold, metal, porcelain, all-ceramic or a combination of metal and ceramic. While some people may opt for metal crowns for back molars due to the material’s inherent strength and affordability, ceramic or porcelain implant crowns look more like natural teeth and are often used for implants on the front of the mouth.
How are natural crowns made?
To make a natural crown, the dentist will first make impressions of the patient’s teeth and the implant to send to the lab. These impressions along with pictures of the surrounding teeth are used to color match the implant. Once placed, implants cannot be whitened and will remain the original color.
How do you care for crowns?
Immediately following each stage of the implant process, patients may need to eat soft foods until the area heals and stitches begin to dissolve. Some pain, swelling, bleeding and bruising are also common. There is a low possibility of implant failure, which is increased by smoking.
Continue caring for implant crowns after the healing process is completed by brushing and flossing regularly. Avoid chewing hard items that could cause crowns to crack or break. Of course, patients should continue to make regular appointments with a dentist to make sure the implants and surrounding teeth are healthy.
How long do crowns last?
If cared for properly, all-ceramic crowns may last up to 15 or 20 years. Metal crowns or porcelain fused to metal crowns are generally more durable. Apart from the crown, titanium implants are often functional for 30 years or longer.
Implant crowns come in many shapes and sizes, but they all restore function to the mouth by replacing teeth that are damaged due to tooth decay or other causes. While the entire process can be somewhat lengthy, natural crowns can be made that match the appearance and color of surrounding teeth. With proper care, implants have a long lifespan.
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