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Dental Implant Restoration

What is dental implant restoration and what is the general timeline of how that occurs?

The specifics of dental implant restoration vary depending on the type of prosthetic being attached to the implant. Options include a single crown, a bridge spanning a larger gap supported by two implants, or dentures and removable partials attached to implants. Generally, the process involves affixing a prosthetic to the implant platform, which is anchored in the bone and tissues, effectively filling the missing space in your smile.

How long does it usually take to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant restoration?

The timeline for replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant restoration varies by type. For crowns and bridges, the process typically begins once the implant has integrated with the bone. Impressions are taken of the implant and surrounding tissues, which are then sent to a laboratory. The lab's fabrication of the prosthetic usually takes about 30 days. Upon receipt, the replacement is attached to the implant, secured, and sealed. The process for dentures differs and is customized to the individual's needs.

How can one make their implant crowns or bridges white again?

Dinginess in implant-supported crowns or bridges often results from plaque or calculus buildup, the consequence of inadequate cleaning. The initial step towards restoration is a thorough cleaning by a hygienist to remove debris and improve gum health. Unfortunately, the porcelain of crowns or bridges cannot be bleached; they retain their original chosen color unless replaced. It is crucial to be satisfied with the color at the time of placement, as it will be permanent unless you opt for replacement.

How are implant crowns or implant bridges attached to the implants that are down in the bone?

The attachment of crowns or bridges to implants primarily utilizes two methods. The less frequently used method involves cementing the prosthetic onto an abutment on the implant, which has shown to potentially affect the implant's longevity. Currently, the preferred method is screw retention, where a crown or bridge is secured with a screw through an inconspicuous access hole, tightened down, and then the access hole is sealed with filling material. This method avoids cement, reducing future complications, and allows for easy retrieval and repair of the prosthetic if necessary, offering greater flexibility and longevity.

How long can one keep a dental implant crown?

The lifespan of a dental implant crown is significantly influenced by the level of care it receives. While nothing lasts forever, with diligent maintenance, it's reasonable to expect a crown to last between 10 to 20 years, with some lasting even longer. Key factors impacting longevity include cleanliness around the implant and regular professional cleanings to address any missed areas. These practices not only maintain the appearance of the crown but also protect the underlying implant and surrounding tissues.

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