The mouth-body connection is very real. There’s a reason why your parents (or at the very least, your dentist) made you spend a solid two minutes brushing your teeth twice a day throughout your childhood. They were setting you up to realise the importance of looking after those pearly whites, and making sure they stay that way well into adulthood.
Teeth that aren’t looked after don’t just leave a nasty odour. The effects on your body’s health over time can go way beyond that. Our internal body isn’t as self-cleansing as we believe it is. And when harmful bacteria builds up in your gums, chronic infections and inflammation will most certainly occur. As this bacterial breeding ground festers and goes straight to your nerve channels and bloodstream, you’re presented with a long list of other health-related problems including gum disease, cardiovascular disease and dementia.
Looking after your teeth doesn’t just stop at brushing them for 4 minutes a day. It’s making sure you commit to a good diet (well, most of the time) and invest in the right tools and dental techniques to allow your teeth to function well. Thus, it’s crucial you choose the right one for the job. Not just for perfecting your smile, but also to ensure your tooth-replacement system is as good – and as healthy – as possible. Stuck between choosing which implant retained restoration is right for you? Here’s what you need to know:
Dental implants must be strategically placed to allow a good connection between the implant and crown. The implant is a tooth-root replacement, to which an implant crown is attached. It’s this crown that’s visible to the human eye, while the actual implant is fused surgically into the jaw bone. The two most common procedures are screw and cement implant retained restorations.
What are Cement Implant Retained Restorations?
Cement implants are the most commonly requested restorations because of their traditional yet effective design. They’re also the most cost-effective. These implants are similar to regular crown/bridge procedures which helps keep those dreaded dental expenses to a minimum. As a result, the process of the restoration is much simpler too.
There’s a common misconception that cement-retained crowns cannot be removed, but they can. They do, however, come with more of a risk than screw-retained restorations. Because the crown is cemented onto the implant, removing the implant can be unreliable and risks extruding excess cement onto the tooth. If this excess is not completely removed, we risk damaging the peri-implant tissues. If there is no need for the implant to be removed in the future, this won’t be a worry.
What are Screw-Retained Restorations?
As the name suggests, screw-retained restorations are screwed into the tooth. Like good old-fashioned Lego, the components of these implants are designed to disassemble, which gives you the option to remove or re-tighten down the track, making them easier to maintain. Their retrievability is the biggest benefit of these implants. Screw-retained implants can be removed by simply unscrewing the restoration, without the risk of residual cement being left on the tooth. This ensures there’s no damage to the existing tooth and allows for a high-precision and passive fit.
On the flip side, screw-retained restorations can be pricey. Typically, they require a custom component to be waxed and cast for the procedure to be effective. The extra lab work that goes into the process, along with the expense of the custom parts, makes the overall cost go up.
Health should always be a number one priority but it’s budget and aesthetic appeal that usually dictate which restoration option is best. It’s in this department that cement implants win the restoration battle. Screw access holes that occur as a result of screw-retained restorations don’t do anything for making your smile look good. If you’re restoring one or more of your front teeth, it’s better to go with a cemented implant for aesthetic considerations and save the screw-retained restorations for your back teeth only.
On this note, it’s worth mentioning that cement restorations have the added advantage of handling angled implants too. Screw access holes cannot be placed on facial or incisal contours and leave an unattractive metal screw peeking out of your mouth.
Both implants are designed to give your teeth a healthy restoration solution. However, if you’re looking to save money and want a restoration that comes with aesthetic appeal, then crown implants are definitely the way to go.
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Oceanic Dental Laboratory – Australia’s most competitive dental lab offering beautiful and strong restorations with turnaround times between 7-10 working days. You can catch her on Google+.