Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime, and it’s not uncommon for them to last 20 or 30 years. Over that time, the visible part of the dental implant, the crown or bridge that sits on top, might not have fared so well, and it may be time for an upgrade to keep your dental implant looking as good as it functions.
Why Crowns and Bridges Might Need an Upgrade
Your dental implant may have been topped with the best restoration available at the time, but that might not be the same as the best restoration available today. With advances in cosmetic dentistry, it’s quite likely that we can offer you a more attractive dental crown or bridge than you received even 10 years ago, let alone 20 or 30.
It’s also possible that the dental crown has lost its stain resistance. Once the crown starts to become discolored, it can quickly lose its attractiveness. In general, dental crowns, including ceramic crowns, are highly resistant to wear, but they are more vulnerable to fractures on a dental implant. The dental implant doesn’t have a cushion built into it the way that natural teeth do, so strong bite forces are more likely to fracture them.
Other times, the problem could be with your natural teeth. When the dental implant was placed, it might have been a perfect match, but if it’s stain resistant and the rest of your teeth aren’t it isn’t going to be a match anymore. If your natural teeth are worn down, but the dental implant crown isn’t, that can also make the dental implant stand out. And your natural teeth might have moved or drifted a little around the dental implant, which tends to be more stable.
If it’s your natural teeth that have changed, you have a decision to make. It would be easier to replace the dental implant crown, but you’ll get a better smile if you rejuvenate your teeth so they match the dental implant again.
What’s Involved in Replacing Restorations
Putting a new restoration on a dental implant can be easy. It might mean nothing more than taking the old crown or bridge off and putting a new one on.
Other times, we might have to replace the abutment, the connecting piece that links the dental implant to the crown. Depending on how long ago you got your dental implant, we might need to custom-make an abutment if we can’t get one from the manufacturer.
Usually, we won’t have to do anything with the dental implant itself. In unusual circumstances, we might discover something is wrong with the implant itself–you might have been noticing problems, too. If it is recommended that the implant itself be replaced, we will talk to you about your options.
To learn more about upgrading your dental implant in Hilton Head, please call (843) 706-2999 for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Beyond Exceptional Dentistry.