How the Dental Crown gets attached to Dental Implant
A bit of a mind bend is how the implant crown gets attached to the implant fixture. The implant fixture is the titanium screw that goes into your jaw bone - it is the replacement root for your missing tooth. We then have the implant crown, that somehow needs to be attached to the implant fixture. The implant crown is the 'tooth' part of the restoration - it is the white part that you chew with. The tricky bit to understand is that the crown gets glued to an abutment, which then gets screwed into your implant fixture with a much smaller screw!
Watch the video below to see how it all happens!
Dental Implant Crowns
What you're going to see in this video is how the implant crown gets attached to the implant.
What is a little bit tricky to get our heads around sometimes is that, the implant itself is a screw, and then the way the crown is attached to the implant is also a screw. So the screw that attaches the crown to the implant goes down through the middle of the crown. Okay so there's a channel down through the middle of your crown, and that allows the screw to seat, and for us to use our drivers and our instruments to tighten that screw so its really nice and tightened to 35 Newton centimeters. We have a little torque wrench that we make sure its nice and secure. Once we have done that, then that channel which is through the center of the crown, we fill up with white filling material. That way it looks like there is a whole complete tooth and nothing is going to get stuck inside there.
The benefits for having a crown attached to the implant with the screw, are that it is completely retrievable, so that if anything happens to your crown, like if it gets chipped or it needs to be replaced or repaired or if there's something going on with your implant and we want to take the crown off to check everything, we can easily remove it but without destroying the crown. The crown can come on and off. The other way that implant crowns can be attached to the implant is that they get cemented. So this is how our crown gets attached to the natural tooth... it gets cemented on. The disadvantage of using cement is that if you want to take it off... you have to destroy the crown and also its very hard to control where the cement goes on an implant.
Procedure on the live patient: So the first thing we have to do is take off the healing abutment. Its the little protective cap that screws into the implant so that the gum can heal around it. It's titanium, with different colors corresponding to the different sizes of the implant. You can see that this one here is gold. And there is a really nice healthy looking gum, you can see that there is a really good thick band of attached gum there. We've tried the crown in, checked the contacts, and we just screw it in to finger tightness. We then take an X ray to make sure everything is seated well into the implant. Once we have confirmed that everything is fitting beautifully, you can see here we have the torque wrench and we are torqueing it around to 35 Newton centimeters to make it really nice and secure.... there it is.
After filling most of that access channel with Teflon tape, we fill the top part with white filling material. This way, it looks just like the ceramic.. its nice and strong so you can chew on it properly, but if we every need to remove the crown for whatever reason, we can easily drill through that white filling material, remove the Teflon tape and access the crown. There it is looking very nice. This will give a really long service life and good function