Dental implants are the best tooth-replacement option, but they do have one drawback: they can take a long time to heal. We need to make sure that the dental implant is fully integrated into your jaw bone before we put a permanent crown on it, and this can take up to six months.
The good news is that in most cases we can place a temporary crown right after we place your dental implant. This natural-looking replacement tooth can make it as if you had gotten your new tooth the same day as your old one was removed. We’ll still need to check the healing of the implant and replace the temporary with a permanent crown, but otherwise, your smile is as good as done.
Unfortunately, not everyone can have a temporary crown placed right away. And we can’t know who this will be until we place your implant. But does this mean you’ll have a gap in your smile? No, there are several ways we can restore your smile while your dental implant heals.
This is the traditional approach to the problem. Partial dentures are made of plastic gums and one or more artificial teeth that are held in by suction as well as hooks and clasps on other teeth.
This has the benefit of being quick and inexpensive, but it has several disadvantages, too. The hooks and clasps can be uncomfortable and even damage neighboring teeth. It also tends to be the least secure option, and there’s even a risk that it may put uneven pressure on your healing implant, which can impact the success and attractiveness of your dental implant.
This approach is similar to an Invisalign tray, but with an artificial tooth in the position where your dental implant is. This is supported by your neighboring teeth, so it’s not going to put much pressure on your healing implant. It’s also pretty secure, but it does have to be removed when you eat, and some people report speech problems associated with this temporary approach.
We might also be able to use a temporary dental bridge. Instead of supporting the artificial tooth with dental crowns over your neighboring teeth, this bridge is just bonded to the neighboring teeth. This is an attractive and fully functional restoration, but it does have the potential to damage the teeth it’s bonded to.
When we know whether you can have a temporary crown placed or not, we’ll talk to you about your options and try to find the best one for you, but if at all possible, we will make sure you don’t leave our office with a gap in your smile.