Sometimes a dental implant is placed when a natural tooth is missing (could be missing from birth or if a tooth was previously removed). The implant becomes the support system for a new tooth, replacing the root.

Once the implant is in place and ready (fully healed in the jaw bone), an “impression” (or copy) is taken of the implant. An implant crown will then be fabricated and will seat on top of the implant. The implant crown is made out of 2 components: an “abutment” (which is typically made out of titanium) and the crown itself (made of ceramic or a combination of metal and ceramic). Sometimes these 2 components can be fused together in one piece, but sometimes they have to remain separate (this will be determined by the laboratory as they can determine from the model work which type can be more successful in each patient). The abutment locks into the implant by a screw.

An implant crown is done in 2 visits. At the first visit, your current implant “cap” (which can be seen on top of the gums), is removed, and a post is inserted. An x-ray is then taken to verify everything is connected properly below the gums. They will then take an “impression” (make a copy) of this post and send to the lab to create the crown. Your previous cap will be placed back on the implant while we wait on the implant crown to come back from the laboratory. The turnaround time is 3-4 weeks as the laboratory has to make work off multiple parts and pieces and the abutment is fabricated first. At the second visit, your implant cap will be removed again and the permanent crown placed.

Sometimes numbing is necessary for this last step to make the fitting more comfortable. We will also make sure you approve the looks and feel of the permanent crown before it’s screwed in.