A dental implant is a tooth-like crown attached to a metal post. Dentists can use either a screw mechanism or dental cement to connect the two parts together. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let's take a look at each option so you can work out which is best for you.
Screw Dental Implants
Most molar dental implants contain a screw that attaches the crown to its supporting post. This kind of implant has the advantage that removing the implant crown is very easy. If you bite down too hard on a nut or sweet and break the crown, your dentist can easily replace it.
The main disadvantage of a screw-type dental implant is that the metal screw is sometimes visible above the gum line. This fact does not matter much for the molars, which are located at the back of the mouth, but most people do not want to have unsightly screws visible above their front teeth. For this reason, dentists are more likely to use cement dental implants to replace the incisors.
Cement Dental Implants
Dental cement is a safe, non-toxic, tooth-coloured substance that dentists often use in dental restorations. Dentists can use dental cement to form a secure bond between the crown and the post of a dental implant. Dental cement is an ideal option for front teeth, as it is similar in colour to natural tooth enamel and is therefore barely visible. The bond that it forms is strong enough to last a lifetime.
The disadvantage of using cement to secure a dental implant is that it can make it difficult to replace the dental crown. Instead of simply unscrewing the crown from the base, dentists must drill through the cement to break the bond. Although this does not hurt, as dental implants do not have nerve endings, it can be uncomfortable and time-consuming.
The need to replace implant crowns is less common in incisor or canine dental implants. Molar implants often wear down over the years due to their prominent role in chewing, but front teeth suffer far less wear and tear. Therefore, if you need a dental implant at the front of your mouth, dental cement could be a good option.
The Right Option for You
While discussing dental implants with your dentist, do not hesitate to ask whether they plan to use screwed or cemented implants to replace your missing teeth. They can talk you through the decision, taking into account individual factors such as your age and oral health.