Your new dental implants will be made up of three distinct parts: the implant, the dental abutment and the dental prosthesis (artificial tooth). Also known as the ‘crown’ the importance of the dental prosthesis lies in its aesthetic value. Whereas the implant and the abutment are structurally and functionally important the prosthesis is the only part of the total dental implant that is seen and one of its main purposes, therefore, is to look great. This article will outline some details about the dental prosthesis that you should be aware of.
When is the Prosthesis fitted?
The first part of the dental implant procedure involves the fitting of the implant itself into a pre-drilled socket. Once this has healed an abutment is attached to the implant to transfer the load from the prosthesis to the implant. The abutment must undergo complete healing before the dental prosthesis can be fitted – a process which usually takes 4-6 weeks. Until this time your dentist may provide you with a temporary prosthesis.
What are the most common prosthesis materials?
There are various materials which can be used for the prosthesis. Prosthesis for dental implants are most commonly made from Ceramic materials – Porcelain being the most widely selected choice. Benefits of Porcelain include its very high strength and natural appearance. More recently a move towards other ceramics has been seen with prosthodontists opting for newer materials such as lithium disilicate. These newer ceramics have a higher fracture resistance compared to other porcelains used for dental restorations
How is the Prosthesis made?
In order to make the prosthesis, your dentist will take an exact model of your mouth. It is important that your crown is an exact match, especially where more than one tooth is being replaced. To get a custom fit, your dentist will take a mold of your jaw, teeth, and your abutments. They will then take bite registrations to see how all of your teeth fit together. The prosthesis is then produced from this model. It may take several visits for your dentist to create this model and thus the overall process can take a few months.
What if I don’t like my Dental Prosthesis?
Your dentist will always have a fitting session with you so that you can feel how your prosthesis fits in your mouth. This is the time for you to voice any concerns you have over the fitting or placement of the dental prosthesis. Remember you are paying for your new teeth so it is only right that they are perfect!
How do I maintain the crown?
Your dentists will provide you with aftercare information following the fitting of your prosthesis. Due to the nature of the crown material they can be treated in exactly the same way as your normal teeth so an oral hygiene routine of brushing, regular flossing, and routine scaling and polishing should help to keep your dental implants looking they’re very best!