Screw VS Cement? What does this mean in Implant dentistry?

Posted on 12th February 2022

Dental implants are often restored with a crown or bridge. A crown is used for single individual teeth whereas a bridge may be used to replace multiple teeth. The connection between the crown and the dental implant can either be screw retained or cement retained.

The objective is to have a precision fit between the crown and implant components. A better fit will ensure minimal chance of bacterial leakage and possible problems in the future.

Cement retained implant restorations

This is the term given to an implant crown or bridge that is cemented onto the implant platform. An abutment is screwed into the dental implant and then a crown is subsequently cemented onto the abutment. There are 2 connection points with this design. The first is the connection between the abutment and the implant. The second is the connection between the crown and the abutment. The disadvantage of this is that either of these 2 connections could fail or loosen overtime and access to the abutment is hampered by the fact that the crown has been ‘glued’ on. Another disadvantage of cement retained is that many studies show a greater risk of peri-implantitis associated with this type of implant restoration. Peri-implantitis is the term given to advanced gum disease around implants which can result in implant failure.

There are many ways in which we can avoid providing cement retained implant restorations and at Infinity Dental Clinic we ensure the treatment is planned meticulously to prevent the need for this type of restoration.

Screw retained implant restorations

This is the term given to an implant crown or bridge that is directly screwed into the implant itself. No glue is required and these crowns are precision milled to fit perfectly into the implant connection. These restorations are more durable in the long term and also have a significantly lower risk of implant disease in the future when compared with the cement retained approach.

Screw retained implant crowns can also be used to provide perfect gum contours and pink triangles to produce the highest level of natural tooth and gum aesthetics.

In the event of any maintenance requirements in the future, the screw retained crown proves to be very simple to unscrew and maintain and then rescrew again. This design provides a solution that is both stronger, more natural in appearance and feel and also more retrievable in the future for any maintenance.

Screw retained implants crowns are more difficult to produce. Not all implants are suitable for this solution. The dental implant must be placed along the vertical long axis of the planned tooth replacement – this means the surgical placement of the dental implant must be in absolutely the correct place. At Infinity Dental Clinic, we plan all of our implant treatments using digital scanners and CBCT scanning to ensure all of our dental implants are placed in the optimum place to provide the highest standard of implant restoration.

Not all dental implants are the same and our aim at Infinity Dental Clinic is to inform and educate our patients to help them understand this treatment well enough to make a fully informed decision.

Thank you for reading

Mohsin Patel

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