When it comes to damage and decay that involves a single tooth, dentists will most commonly recommend a crown to extend its natural life. While crowns can improve oral health by restoring the function of damaged teeth, until recently, they were unable to replace a tooth that was completely missing. Now, with mini dental implants for crowns, the dental implant acts as the tooth root, therefore allows for the replacement of a single missing tooth, without relying on support from the natural tooth root or from surrounding teeth.
The Crown Stabilization Procedure
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps which are placed over an existing damaged tooth in order to restore its shape, size and strength, for natural function and appearance. Crowns look and act like real teeth, however they are simply on the support of the existing tooth root for proper function.
While crowns are ideal for restoring damaged and decaying teeth, a tooth root needs to exist in order for it to function properly. With the introduction of the mini dental implant or MDI, crowns are now a viable source for replacing a single missing tooth.
Mini Dental Implants for Crown Placement
The MDI system consists of three distinct parts which all work together to provide patients with a stable, long lasting crown:
– The mini dental implant – made of titanium alloy, the implant isoted into the jawbone where it acts as an anchor to stabilize the crown.
– The metal housing – is incorporated into the base of the crown and is what connects the crown to the implant.
– The rubber O-ring – resides inside the metal housing effectively seals the two pieces together, locking them in place.
The placement of your crown using mini dental implants will take place right in your dentist's office. After the administration of a local anesthetic, your dentist will place the dental implant into your jaw bone using precise and controlled techniques. A small incision will be made in the gum line, after which a specialized drill will be used to create a small hole in the jawbone where the implant is inserted. A specialized wrench will effectively 'screw' the implant in place, providing stable support for the crown.
Once placed, only the abutment, or the ball-shaped head of the implant, will be visible above the gum line. The metal housing will then be attached to the crown, allowing the two pieces to be 'snapped' into place. The socket-like O-ring connects with the ball-shaped abutment, locking the crown firmly in place, providing the look, feel and function of a natural tooth.