Implants & Crowns
Implants are one strategy for replacing a missing tooth or teeth. The recommendation for implants can originate with either an oral surgeon, a periodontist, or with your general dentist. Implant treatment in this Garden Ridge/Schertz/Cibolo office is handled in partnership with an area oral surgeon who imbeds a titanium post in the bone. It takes several months for the bone to grow closely around the implant and stabilize it, if there are no complications. After the oral surgeon determines that the implant site has healed, the patient returns to our office and a crown is made to match the teeth on either side of the implant.
Most of the time, an abutment is needed as part of this process. This is a "post" that attaches to the implant and provides the foundation for the crown. The crown fits snugly on top and around the abutment. Implants can also be used to hold bridges when replacing multiple teeth and to stabilize dentures. Implants can also be used as stabilizers for dentures and removable partial dentures as well as more complex multi-tooth permanent replacement prostheses.
Crowns are needed when a tooth is badly broken down, is fractured, has too much decay for a filling to be strong enough, or when the tooth has had root canal treatment. (See more information in the next section about root canals.) Crowns are required on top of an implant. A crown is a porcelain, metal or composite tooth top (thus the name "crown") custom-made to replace the part of the natural tooth that is compromised or missing. The type of material chosen for a crown is determined by the location in the mouth, force factors when biting, and aesthetics.
Well done crowns fit snugly around the base of the tooth so that no bacteria get in underneath to compromise the health of the tooth base. If this were to happen, the base of the tooth would decay, creating a new and painful problem. Sometimes, if the tooth has had root canal treatment, a reinforcing post is inserted in the root of the tooth to give it extra strength in holding the new crown.
Porcelain and composite crowns come from the lab in different shades of tooth color. In this office serving Schertz, Cibolo and Garden Ridge, we take extra time to match the shade of your new tooth to the nuances of shading in your natural teeth so that no one but you knows which one is the new one. For patients who want to change the color and shape of their smile-curve teeth, we can use crowns to accomplish this as well. See the Cosmetics section of our website for examples of this.