The COVID-19 outbreak has limited most dental offices to only offering emergency dentistry treatment. One of the most common types of dental emergencies is a toothache, although not all toothaches require emergency care. It is important to know what signs indicate the need to seek prompt treatment for a toothache to ensure that the issue…
Strength and Longevity of Dental Implant Crowns
Dental implant crowns are the most visible part of the device. These tooth-shaped caps are the top part of the implant, and therefore the most exposed. Although crowns are sturdy, they are not meant to withstand extreme circumstances, such as severe wear, trauma or teeth grinding. For this reason, most dental implant crowns only last for a decade before needing replacement. However, the strength and longevity of an implant crown depends completely on each specific case.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are oral appliances that effectively replace a tooth that has been extracted or fallen out. Most teeth that have fallen out due to injury, age or decay can be replaced with a dental implant.
The dental implant is comprised of three parts: the post, the abutment and the crown. The post is the portion that is inserted directly into the jawbone where tooth loss has occurred. This screw-like component integrates with the bone, becoming a permanent fixture of the mouth. Posts usually last a lifetime, and likely will never need to be replaced.
Next, the abutment sits atop the post, acting as the connector between post and restoration. This peg structure sits just at the gum line, and is covered by the dental implant crown. The crown is attached to the abutment (either by screw or by dental cement) to create a completed artificial tooth that acts like a natural tooth.
Types of dental implant crowns
There are a few common types of dental implant crowns, including metal alloy, porcelain-fused-to-metal and all-ceramic crowns.
Metal alloy crowns
The most cost-effective and durable option, metal alloy crowns are made from a combination of dental-safe metal materials that are of similar consistency and hardness to a natural tooth. Though these crowns are sturdy, many patients do not prefer them due to their inability to blend in with the smile. Metal crowns can last for decades with little wear.
Porcelain fused to metal crowns
These crowns have a metal base that is covered in a layer of tooth-colored porcelain. These crowns have the longevity of a metal crown while maintaining a more pleasing appearance, like an all-ceramic crown. Lasting decades, porcelain-fused-to-metal dental implant crowns are a great option for replacement of molars. They appear more lifelike than a metal crown, but will not look near as realistic as all-ceramic crowns. A common complaint with PFTM crowns is their opaque appearance. A thin metal line may be visible around the gumline with these crowns as well.
All-ceramic crowns best mimic the opacity gradient and light-refracting qualities of a natural tooth. These crowns are highly preferred by patients for their indistinguishable appearance and ability to blend in with the smile seamlessly. Due to their superior appearance, these crowns are more expensive than other options. These crowns are meant to last about a decade before needing replacement –– but with proper care, they can last well over that amount of time.
Making your implant crown last
Dental implant crowns are excellent tools in replacing missing teeth. They complete the smile and last for years, with very little maintenance required. When you are ready to pick out your dental implant crown, give us a call. We can help you on your journey to a new smile.
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