If you are getting a dental implant, you may be surprised at the steps you'll need to take besides implant surgery. For example, if your sinus cavities are too low, your dentist may recommend a sinus lift so that there is enough room and bone to support the implant. A smaller step you'll need to take during the process is an appointment for impressions so that a crown can be fabricated. Impressions for implants are a little different than impressions for just teeth and gum tissue. Read on to learn more about implant impressions and why they are so important.
What's Unique About Implant Impressions?
If you've had impressions taken in the past, your dentist may have just used some alginate or silicone in a tray to get a reading of your oral tissues. With implant impressions, the dentist will also need to get a reading of the implant site.
Once you've gotten the surgery for the implant post, your dentist will need to take an impression of the area. When impressions are taken during this appointment, your dentist will incorporate an implant coping. A coping is an exact replica of the implant abutment. The abutment connects the post—the part of the implant that integrates with jawbone—and the crown.
When you have your impression taken, your dentist will actually screw in a coping into your implant post. Then he or she will put silicone around the coping and take the impression. Your dentist will then unscrew the coping from your implant post, and the coping will transfer with the impression material. This impression is then sent on to a dental lab.
What Happens to the Impression at a Dental Lab?
At a dental lab, the impression tray is poured up with a gypsum stone so that dental technicians have models of your teeth.
Because your dentist takes an impression with a coping, the dental lab is able to construct an abutment and crown that will fit perfectly in your mouth. How do they do this? At the dental lab, they will screw an analog into the coping. An analog is a metal replica of your implant post. The analog will show the dental technician the exact position of your implant relative to other teeth and oral anatomy.
Once the analog is inserted into the gypsum model, this model is then sent to a 3D scanner, where it is entered into CAD/CAM software. Dental technicians can design a crown and abutment on the computer, and the design is then sent to a milling device.
Why Are These Impressions So Important?
Fitting an abutment and crown is a precise business. If your dentist didn't take an impression with a coping, then the dental lab wouldn't have the necessary information to construct a crown and abutment. Plus, these precise impressions help you avoid future issues with your implant since it's harder for bacteria to seep beneath crowns that have an accurate fit.
Contact a dentist in your area today for more information about dental implants.