High quality, natural looking implant crowns need to be more than just ‘white’, they must approximate the complex color scheme of your other teeth or they will stick out like a ‘sore thumb’. Color is approximately matched using standardized color tabs which are selected with your approval and is included in basic implant crown fees. If your implant crown is prominently visible, some degree of additional customization will usually be required to more closely match your other teeth. This customization process can proceed until the best possible match is obtained subject to the limitations of man-made materials with fees based on the length of time required for customization. When skillful clinical treatment is combined with artful laboratory technical work it is often difficult to detect the difference between a well made implant crown and your natural teeth. Natural teeth will tend to slowly darken with age. Teeth replaced and restored with an implant crown will remain the same color.
Shape is extremely critical and is one of the most frequently overlooked aspects of many implant crowns. This has resulted in an otherwise attractive smile being ruined by implant crowns not matching the remaining teeth and appearing as if they stick out. Proper shape is also required to prevent food jamming between teeth and to permit easy and thorough cleaning to avoid bad breath.
Red, blue or swollen gums and gum recession are ugly and can be caused by improperly made implant crowns. The gum around the implant crown should be pink, firm and not bleed during cleaning.
A well made implant crown should have a perfect bite and feel completely even with the other teeth on the very first day and does not require time to settle in. An uneven bite will either be uncomfortable or allow your other teeth to shift and become crooked.
Depending on the type of implant restoration and patient variables, different esthetic results are possible. Some parts of the implant or supporting framework may be visible if the lips or cheek are artificially pulled back but in most instances the implant restoration appears very natural in normal viewing. An implant crown should feel comfortable, look natural, maintain or restore your ability to eat and speak. Our patients routinely can’t feel the difference between a real tooth and an implant.
Research has shown that high success rates of over 95% are routinely achieved but success can never be guaranteed. In the unlikely event that the bone fails to stabilize the implant, then after implant removal and subsequent healing in the area, a replacement implant can usually be placed. Because smoking compromises the body’s ability to heal, there is a somewhat reduced success rate for implants and especially bone rebuilding or grafting in smokers. You are encouraged to reduce or preferably quit smoking as soon as possible, prior to implant placement.
Implant dentistry is best completed by a dental specialist who has extensive training and the appropriate knowledge and skills in implant dentistry. Do not expect your general dentist or a denturist to obtain the results routinely obtainable in our prosthodontic specialty office. General dentists try to stay on top of all the general routine treatments patients need but can’t be expected to be capable of providing specialized treatment. A denturist is not a doctor or specialist and only completes about a 16 month trade course that allows them to provide a cook book approach to making ‘one style suits all’ dentures. There are some capable dental specialists in Mexico and elsewhere but always beware of ‘discount dentistry’. An attempt to obtain specialty treatment from those without the appropriate training and experience is likely to create problems and regret.