Dental implants are one of the most effective tooth replacement options. They provide a strong and permanent replacement that looks, feels, and functions like natural teeth.
However, like natural teeth, dental implants can also experience problems or damage over time.
One common issue with dental implants is a damaged crown. The crown is the visible portion of the implant that looks like a natural tooth and sits above the gum line.
In this blog post, we will talk about how a dental implant crown can become damaged and the process of repairing or replacing it.
About Dental Implants
Dental implants are an excellent solution if you have lost one or more teeth due to injury, decay, or other oral health issues.
A dental implant has 3 parts: the implant, abutment and restoration.
- Implant: A titanium post surgically placed into the jawbone.
- Abutment: A connector piece that attaches to the implant.
- Restoration: The visible part of the implant, e.g., a dental crown.
The titanium implant is surgically placed in the jaw bone by an oral surgeon or periodontist. Your dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon for the surgery, but you will return to your dentist for the placement of the abutment and final restoration.
While durable, dental implant crowns and abutments may require repair or replacement due to damage or wear and tear over time. Your dentist will determine whether repair or replacement is best. The process is relatively simple and, in some cases, may only require one appointment.
Causes of a Damaged Dental Crown
There are several reasons why a dental implant crown may become damaged. These include:
- Normal wear and tear: Just like natural teeth, dental implants can also experience wear and tear over time. The crown may become worn or chipped as you chew and use your teeth.
- Poor oral hygiene: Bacteria can accumulate around the implant and cause inflammation or infection, leading to bone loss and damage to the crown.
- Accidents or trauma: A blow to the face or a sports injury can also cause damage to the implant crown.
- Incorrect bite: If the implant is not in the right position or if the bite is not aligned, it can put pressure on the crown and cause damage over time.
- Improper technique: At times implants may be restored with the wrong abutments or screws. This can lead to screw loosening or breakage.
When to Replace a Dental Implant Crown
Dental implant crowns can last for many years with proper care. However, if it is damaged or worn down it may need to be replaced. Some common reasons for replacing a dental implant crown include:
- Fractures or cracks in the restoration
- Everyday wear and tear
- Decayed or damaged underlying tooth structure
- Changes in the surrounding area due to gum disease or bone loss
It’s essential to address a damaged dental implant crown as soon as possible to prevent further damage and potential infection.
Is It Possible To Repair a Dental Implant Crown?
In some cases, repairing a damaged dental implant crown may be possible rather than replacing it entirely.
Composite resin, a tooth-colored material, can fix small chips or minor cracks on the surface of your teeth.
If the crown becomes loose but is otherwise undamaged, your dentist may be able to reattach it securely to the abutment without requiring a full replacement.
What If a Screw Comes Loose or Breaks?
Screw loosening or breakage is a dental implant emergency. It is important to call your prosthodontist right away to have this problem fixed. Dr. Morris has special instruments and techniques that allow the safe removal of the broken or loose screw. Often the screw can be replaced with ease, however, sometimes the restorations have to be modified, repaired, or replaced. Dr. Morris has years of experience managing loose and broken screws.
The Replacement Process
The process for replacing a damaged dental implant crown typically involves three steps:
- Removal of the old crown – The damaged crown is removed.
- Preparation for a new crown – Depending on its condition, the abutment may need to be adjusted or replaced. Impressions of your teeth and gums will be taken to create a new, custom-made restoration. There are two types of crowns: screw-retained implant crowns and cement-retained. Your dentist will discuss both options with you and recommend the best option.
- Placement of the new crown – The new dental crown is attached to the abutment, and adjustments are made to ensure a comfortable fit.
Options for Restoration
When replacing a damaged dental implant crown, there are several options available, including:
- Traditional porcelain crowns: These crowns are made of high-quality porcelain material that mimics the color and texture of natural teeth.
- Zirconia crowns: Made of a strong and durable material, zirconia crowns are an excellent option for individuals who grind their teeth or have a heavy bite.
- Screw-retained and cement-retained crowns: As the names imply, screw-retained crowns are held in place with a screw, while cement-retained crowns use dental cement to secure the restoration.
Your dentist will work with you to determine the best option based on your needs and budget.
At Morris Dental Solutions, we understand that your time is valuable. We offer same-day crown services for eligible patients using our state-of-the-art CAD/CAM technology. You can have a new crown placed in one visit, eliminating the need for multiple appointments and temporary crowns.
Maintaining Your Dental Implant Crown
Once your new crown is in place, a good oral hygiene routine is essential to keep the entire implant restoration in tip-top shape. Be sure to:
- Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss daily to remove plaque and debris from between teeth and around the implant.
- Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.
- Avoid hard or sticky foods that can damage the crown.
- If you feel the implant restoration moving, please be sure to call Morris Dental Solutions to have it fixed.
With proper care, your new dental implant crown can last many years, providing you with a beautiful and functional smile.
Morris Dental Solutions
Your Trusted Dentist in Buffalo Grove, IL
We are committed to providing our patients with top-quality dental care. Our team of highly skilled and experienced dentists offer a range of services, including dental implant restorations, to help you achieve and maintain a healthy smile.
If you have a damaged dental implant crown or are considering getting a dental implant, contact us today to schedule an appointment. We will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your needs and goals. Let us help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile that you can be proud of!
Call (847) 215-1511 to book an appointment or complete the online booking form.
Keep smiling with Morris Dental Solutions!