Both cement-retained and screw-retained crowns have been used with dental implants for years. And while most dentists prefer to use screw-retained implant crowns, in some cases that isn't possible. And, as the patient, you can choose between these two types of crown retention methods.
You and your dentist might prefer cement-retained crowns in the following situations.
You value aesthetics above all else
Some patients and dentists choose cement-retained crowns because the dental implant is positioned in the smile zone. The smile zone is the front of the mouth or the area of the mouth most visible when you smile. While screw-retained crowns are ideal for back teeth, they are inferior to cement-retained crowns in terms of appearance.
Screw-retained crowns have a visible access hole
Screw-retained crowns need an access point for the screw to enter the abutment. The problem with this is that the access point and the area around it may affect the appearance of the dental crown. When placing a screw-retained crown, the dentist covers the area around the access point with composite resin or acrylic. But this material doesn't always match that of the dental crown.
Cement-retained crowns, on the other hand, offer a smooth and unbroken surface that is even in shade and appearance. This gives cement-retained implant crowns a more natural appearance.
Cement-retained crowns have a lower chance of porcelain fracture
Another issue with screw-retained implant crowns is that the porcelain crown can sometimes fracture around the access hole. Again, this could affect the appearance of the dental implant crown. The chance of a porcelain crown fracturing with cement retention is lower than that of a screw-retained crown.
If you are replacing a front tooth with a dental implant, a cement-retained implant might be a good choice.
The angle of the implant is different from the angle of the surrounding teeth
Sometimes, due to spacing issues or the positioning of the implant screw, the angle of the dental implant doesn't match the angle of the surrounding teeth. This means that if a screw-retained crown is used, then once placed, the positioning of the crown and implant won't match the positioning of the surrounding natural teeth. Your bite may then appear uneven.
In this case, a cement-retained crown is best because dentists can easily adjust the positioning of a cement-retained crown. This will ensure that your dental implant matches your other teeth in every way.
If you are interested in replacing teeth with dental implants, keep this information in mind when choosing a crown retention method. While screw-retained implants are easier to remove and repair, cement-retained crowns are often more aesthetic and thus more suitable for the smile zone.
For more information about dental implants, talk to a dentist.