Artificial dental implants consist of the implant itself and the crown.
The dental implant is inserted into the jaw bone and constitutes the dental root replacement the crown, on the other hand, is the actual artificial tooth, which is placed on the implant.
What are crowns made of?
The implant is entirely or partially made of ceramic, (in case of partial ceramic, the inner part is made of metal which is surrounded by a ceramic film/layer), because ceramic is highly biocompatible. This means that the material behaves neutral in the body and does not cause any allergic or toxic reactions.
How are crowns placed?
The crowns are placed on the actual implants. As stated before, the crowns are not the actual implants, they are just attached to the implants.
As the first step, the dental implants made of either zirconia or titanium are anchored into the jaw bone. After a healing phase of three to five months, the crowns or the bridges can be placed on the implants.
More precisely, after the healing phase, an implant post, serving as an implant neck is screwed into the implant upon which the crown can be attached.
However, if several teeth are missing, bridges have to be used, as two implants should not be inserted directly adjacent to each other.
Imagine that three adjacent teeth are missing. In this case implants would be inserted only into the jawbone of the two outer tooth gaps. Then a row of three crowns would be placed on these two outer implants. Thus, there will be no implant inserted into the tooth gap in between, but thanks to the bridge, a crown can still be placed on this gap.
When are dental crowns used?
The use of dental crowns is the most common treatment method. Crowns are used if teeth are broken or attacked by caries in such a way that tooth fillings would not be sufficient as treatment anymore. Thus, a crown restores a major part of the tooth.
Types of dental crowns
There are replacement crowns, which are used, if the original crown of the patient is strongly damaged. Furthermore, there are protecting crowns, used to protect the interior of the tooth after enamel decay and anchoring crowns, placed in cases of anchored tooth replacements. There is also the telescopic crown. In this case a prothesis (secondary crown) is attached to an interior dental crown (primary crown).
Crowns can also be differentiated as partial crowns, which only cover the chewing surface and full crowns, which replace the entire natural dental crown.
What materials are used for dental crowns?
This depends on the amount of pressure/strain the crown has to withstand. So called full-cast crowns are placed in the rear of the mouth, thus used for molars. They are made of metal to withstand daily chewing and speaking movements. Another option is veneer crowns, which are also made of metal and coated with a tooth coloured plastic layer, so that they are colour-matched to the rest of the teeth.
Besides, crowns can also entirely be made of ceramic (all-ceramic crowns) These sort of crowns tend to be thicker and therefore require more tooth structure removal in order to allow room for the crown to be placed.
How are crowns attached?
Usually, a special kind of cement is used to attach the crown. Ceramic crowns are attached with plastic adhesive. When crowns are used to replace an entire tooth, because the tooth stump does not provide sufficient support anymore, pivot teeth are placed into the teeth using synthetic material/plastics.