If you are missing a single tooth but are hesitant to pursue replacement options that alter your other teeth like dental bridges, an implant-supported crown is a reliable choice that offers stability and durability. Drs. Joe McIntyre, Dan Whiting, Kelsey Rockey, and Bryant Ash at Smiles for Life Dental Care are proud to offer high-quality implant-supported dental crowns at their Harrisonburg, VA, which provide a realistic appearance, comfortable fit, and years of reliable functionality.
Benefits of Implant-Supported Crowns
As the name suggests, an implant-supported crown is a dental crown attached to a dental implant, which is surgically inserted into the jawbone. While traditional options such as bridges do not require surgery to place, implant-supported crowns boast a number of unique benefits, including:
- Long-Lasting Support: While the crown will likely need replacement over time, implants can last for decades, if not a lifetime.
- Enhanced Function: Since dental implants merge with the bone and are permanent, they provide unmatched stability for your crown. It is much easier for you to enjoy eating your favorite foods and speak as your normally would.
- Natural Appearance: Implant-retained crowns replace the entire tooth, from crown to root, for a realistic appearance.
- Improved Oral Health: Because the dental implant stimulates your jawbone in the same way your natural tooth root does, patients can avoid bone breakdown and changes to the facial structure.
Am I a Candidate for an Implant-Supported Crown?
Most people with a missing tooth who are in good enough health to undergo oral surgery are candidates for an implant-supported crown. However, a common roadblock is a lack of jawbone tissue. When we lose teeth, the jawbone often thins and weakens over time. If you lack the jawbone to support an implant, you can undergo a bone graft to improve your candidacy.
What Should I Expect at My Appointment?
Treatment will typically require at least four dental visits. At the first appointment, you will meet with the dentist so he can evaluate your oral and overall health. At this time he will take a medical history, and images of your oral structure. If necessary, he may recommend a bone grafting surgery before or at the same time as your placement.
The second visit will usually be for the implant placement surgery. If any teeth need extraction, it will be done at this time. Next, a small incision is made at the gum line and a tiny access portal made into the jawbone. Through this, your dental implant is inserted. This entire implant placement process is guided by a surgical plan based on 3-D computerized tomography (CT) scans of your mouth. This allows for incredible precision in placing the implant, ensuring the least amount of trauma to surrounding tissues and optimal integration of the implant into the jawbone. Our office also offers sedation options, including nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation, for your comfort.
The implant is backed by the strength and durability of your jawbone and essentially acts like a tooth root.
Over the next four to six months, your dental implant will merge with the jawbone in a process known as osseointegration. As a result, the implant is backed by the strength and durability of your jawbone and essentially acts like a tooth root.
After the osseointegration process is complete, you will return to have your abutments attached, which serve as a conduit between the implant and your crown. Finally, about two weeks later, you will return to have your dental crown attached.
Learn About Your Candidacy
If you are missing a tooth, an implant-supported dental crown might be the tooth replacement treatment for you. Learn more about this treatment by calling us today at (540) 828-2312 or reaching out to us online.