The only visible part of your dental implant is its dental crown, which is the formal name for the implant's false tooth. Crowns are typically milled from a small piece of ceramic, which is the preferred material due to its strength, longevity, and its resemblance to a natural tooth. Because of its considerable density and subsequent strength, it's quite rare for a dental crown attached to an implant to be chipped or broken. But if this does happen, does it mean that your entire dental implant needs to be replaced?
Although rare, breakages to an implant's ceramic crown can occur in the same way as a breakage to a natural tooth. It can be chipped on a foreign object (such as when you use your teeth to open packaging or a bottle), on a hard piece of food, or due to an accident—like being struck in the mouth while playing sports. An implant's ceramic crown is unlikely to continue to deteriorate after a breakage, and there's obviously no nerve in the crown, so the toothache associated with nerve irritation can't technically develop. So what's the best way forward with your chipped crown?
The Crown to Implant Attachment
Any chips or other breakages to a dental implant's crown must be inspected by your dentist. The primary concern is the crown's attachment to the underlying implant. Crowns are connected to the implant via a small abutment and are either cemented or screwed into place. If this connection has been compromised, the crown can become loose, and may eventually detach. Although this is an inconvenience, it's not a major problem, as the implant itself has remained safe and secure in your jawbone, and is unaffected by the damage that occurred to its crown.
Crown Repairs and Replacement
In some cases, the crown can be repaired while still attached to the implant. Small cracks and chips are patched using a tooth-colored composite resin, which is the same compound that a dentist uses to fill a cavity in a natural tooth. More extensive damage will require the crown to be removed and replaced. Additional dental implant surgery will not be needed, as the implant in your jaw has maintained its connection with your jawbone, and therefore does not need any repairs or modifications.
A chip or minor breakage to your dental implant's ceramic crown is not a significant problem, but to ensure that your implant continues to effectively function as a tooth replacement, the crown section of the implant may need repairs.
Talk to your dentist if you want to learn more about dental implant surgery.Share
29 September 2022
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