Dr. John Sorrentino D.M.D

Family and Cosmetic Dentistry

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All Things Dental

When the Doctor is the Patient Part III

It has been over a year since I had my tooth out and an implant placed.

Tooth # 31 Note the small filling and abscess on distal root.

Tooth # 31 Note the small filling and abscess on distal root.

Now that the implant has been in for several months the healing phase is complete. Notice the fins on it? One way to think of an implant is like a hollow “wall anchor.” Since the material it is made of is biocompatible bone grows between the fins locking the implant into place. The center has a threaded screw hole designed to receive a special dental screw.

Implant in place

After the healing cap is removed an implant analog is placed into the threaded hole and an impression is taken. Models are poured and sent to a lab. What you get back looks like this:

IMGP4232

It is called an abutment and ismade of the same metal as the implant and has a threaded dental screw at its center.

Next the crown is fabricated. If you read back to my first post on this I stated that I was planning on getting a gold crown. Upon further research I learned that gold has a completely different charge than the titanium that the implant is made. I elected to go with a crown made from zirconium oxide. Zirconium is strong, somewhat esthetic,  and tends to wear at the same rate as natural tooth structure. While crowns can be screw or cement retained I elected to go with cement retained.

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After the case came back from the lab it was a simple 20 minute procedure to place the abutment and crown.  On the down side it takes moths to a year to complete the case as well as the expense. On the plus side once the implant is placed everything is painless and no anesthetic is necessary.  In addition no other teeth need to be modified to hold a bridge.  It has been about three weeks since I have had it completed and I must say it is comfortable and enjoyable as I never got used to the missing space.  If you are missing a tooth and want the most conservative treatment available I would strongly recommend going this route.

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