When it comes to dental implant success, the skill of the dentist doing the restorative treatment, is just as important as the dental implant and the experience of the surgeon placing it. A remarkable dental implant restoration must fit perfectly, look great, have adequate strength to withstand forces of chewing, have the ideal shape, be easy to clean, and be harmonious within the patient’s bite. This requires a careful, methodical, and thorough diagnostics, treatment planning, and attention to a number of key principles. These include:
- Placement of customized abutments (not stock abutments) that mimics shape and form of a natural tooth
- Choosing appropriately between a two-piece or one-piece abutment / crown design
- Determining abutment and crown materials that meet patient’s aesthetic requirements and functional needs
- A complete assessment of patient’s bite scheme (occlusion) and treatment as necessary prior to placement of the implant crown
- Assessment of the health of the other teeth from restorative, endodontic, periodontal, and orthodontic perspectives. Restoring an implant without attention to the remaining dentition is tunnel-vision dentistry and set for failure. Referrals to appropriate specialists are integral to comprehensive dentistry.
- Customized color matching for optimal aesthetics
- Proper torquing of the retaining screws using a torque driver to assure the components are adequately secured to each other
- Determine between a cement- or screw-retained restoration
- Having a qualified laboratory and keeping close communication with the laboratory technician or master ceramist.
- Envisioning and designing proper abutment and crown form and shape
All of these principles should be considered BEFORE any implants are placed by the surgeon. In fact, the restorative dentist must plan and design the entire treatment in advance that helps the surgeon develop the implant site and place the implant in a fashion that meets those restorative needs. This methodical approach in planning creates the right foundation for remarkable restorations. After all, patients come to us for new teeth, not dental implants and their investment of time and money deserves nothing less.