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In the realm of restorative dentistry, dental implants are king. A dental implant can replace a tooth with a permanent, life-like restoration with a solid reputation for durability.
Implants are also known for one other quality — variety. Not all implants are alike, and they have varied applications for use. Available in various shapes and sizes, they can be used for a single tooth or as part of a multiple tooth bridge or overdenture. And while their basic architecture is the same, you also have two options for how the permanent crown (the visible tooth portion) attaches to the implant: screwed or cemented.
A screw attachment can securely fasten a crown to an implant without the need for cement; it also allows for easy removal for repair or replacement should the crown become damaged or worn. On the other hand, it could pose a cosmetic problem — even though the access hole for the screw may be covered with a tooth-colored filling, it could still be distinguishable from the rest of the crown. There’s also a slight risk of the crown chipping around the access hole.
A crown cemented to the implant won’t have this cosmetic issue with an access hole, and will look just like a natural tooth. But unlike a screwed crown, removing a cemented crown can be more difficult. The cement may also cause gum inflammation and potential bone loss in sensitive patients.
The condition of your mouth, the type of implant you’re receiving and other circumstances will all factor into determining which method is best for you. If we’re “immediately loading” the crown (meaning we’re affixing a temporary crown to the implant immediately after placement in the jaw), then the screw method may be more advantageous. Aesthetically speaking, though, a cemented crown may be a better option in terms of final smile appearance.
But whichever method is used, you’ll still benefit from what implants do best — help you regain the function lost from a missing tooth and change your smile for the better.
If you would like more information on your options with dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Crowns Attach to Implants.”
Welcome to the Blog of Smiley Family Dentistry
Whether you are an existing patient or searching for a dentist in the Grand Rapids, MI area, we’re excited you are here. With the dental industry advancing, we recognize the importance of keeping our patients and visitors up to date with all of the new and exciting things taking place in our practice.
As we move forward with our blog, we hope to promote dental awareness as a vital part of your healthy lifestyle. Here you will find a variety of articles and topics including dental news, advancements in dental technology and treatments, practical oral health advice and updates from our practice.
We hope you find our blog to be helpful, engaging and informational to ensure your best dental health.
As always, feel free to contact Smiley Family Dentistrywith any dental questions or concerns.
-- The Dental Team at Smiley Family Dentistry
CARE INSTRUCTIONS FOR TEMPORARY CROWNS AND BRIDGES
1. The temporary cement requires about one half hour to set. Please do not chew on it during that period of time. Until the anesthetic wears off, avoid hot food and beverage. They can cause a burn that you may not notice until the feeling returns.
2. Certain foods will stick to the temporary restoration. Avoid sticky and hard foods such as chewing gum, candy and nuts. It is important that your temporary crown or bridge stay in place until the final restoration is seated. These foods may pull off the temporary.
3. Home care is important. Please brush the gum line around the plastic crown to keep it clean. This will help the gum tissue heal and stay healthy. You may wish to use a salt-water rinse for the next three days. If so, mix 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a mug of warm water and gently rinse the solution between the teeth. Do not swallow this salt solution. Repeat this rinse two to three times daily.
4. Floss your temporary, but be sure to gently thread the floss out at the gum line when finished, rather than pulling the floss out towards the chewing surface. This will prevent you from inadvertently pulling off the temporary.
5. If the temporary comes off, attempt to slip it back into place. Please notify our office that your temporary has come off, so that we can find a time to recement it, or remake it if necessary. If you are not where you can contact us, go to a pharmacy and get some Fixodent. Replace the temporary on your tooth with some Fixodent holding it in place. This denture adhesive will retain the temporary restoration until you can see us. Please do not allow the underlying tooth to go unprotected because the tooth/teeth may fracture or move and the final restoration may not fit.
6. The prepared tooth may be sensitive to temperature. You may wish to use sensitivity toothpaste. If the sensitivity persists for several days or if the tooth becomes painful to bite on, or if you have a profound toothache, please notify us.
7. The color, shape and size of your temporary do not resemble the final restoration in any way. The temporary has been placed to protect the underlying tooth/teeth and preserve their position and health for the placement of the final restoration.
8. Your final restoration will be placed at your next appointment. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call us.
Wondering what you can do at home to help with jaw pain? Here are a few things to try.
1. Wet a towel with very warm water and apply moist heat to the painful area for 20 minutes, 2 to 4 times each day.
2. Confine your diet to soft, nutritious foods, such as yogurt, eggs or soups. Do not chew gum or eat hard foods (such as raw carrots) or chewy foods (such as caramels, steak or bagels). Cut other food into small pieces and chew on both sides of your mouth to reduce the strain on one side.
3. Keep your teeth apart. When you're not chewing, your teeth should never touch (except occasionally when you swallow). Closely monitor your jaw position for signs of clenching. Try placing your tongue lightly on the top of your mouth behind your upper front teeth, allowing the teeth to come apart and relaxing the jaw muscles.
4. Good head, neck and back posture help you maintain good jaw posture. Try to hold your head up straight and use a small pillow or rolled towel to support your lower back. Avoid habits such as resting your jaw on your hand or cradling the telephone against your shoulder.
5. Avoid caffeine. Caffeine stimulates your muscles to contract and therefore become more tense.
6. Watch your habits. Avoid oral habits that put strain on your jaw muscles and joints. These include clenching or grinding your teeth, biting your cheeks or your lips, or chewing on foreign objects (pens, paper clips, etc).
7. Sleep smart. Avoid sleeping habits that strain your jaw muscles or joints. Don' t sleep on your stomach and if you sleep on your side, keep your neck and jaw aligned.
8. Don't open wide. Until the pain has been reduced, avoid activities that involve opening the jaw wide- yelling, prolonged dental treatments etc.
9. Use anti-inflammatory and pain reducing medications as recommended by the doctor.
And of course, don't hesitate to call our office for an evaluation of your jaw pain or to answer any questions you may have!