Posted on: 7 November 2022Share
The process of replacing a missing or damaged tooth with a dental implant can take many months. The healing process requires a dental implant to fuse with the jawbone. That's why you need to protect the healing dental implant site. If you want to get a dental implant, you might wonder how you can fill the remaining space while your dental implant post integrates with your jawbone.
Fortunately, you don't have to walk around with a gap in your smile. You have several available options to fill the gap while you wait for the healing phase to be complete.
A healing cap
In general, prosthodontists place a healing cap, also known as a healing abutment, over the dental implant after placing a dental implant. These titanium caps cover the wound and implant and prevent plaque and food debris from entering the healing site.
Sometimes, dentists first cover a healing dental implant with gum tissue. Then after several months, the dentist makes an incision into the gum tissue and places the healing cap. The healing cap helps to shape the gum tissue in preparation for placing the abutment and dental crown portion of a dental implant.
A temporary abutment and crown
If your dental implant is in the front of your mouth, the gap will be clearly visible when you smile or speak. If don't want a gap in your smile, you can choose to have your dentist place a temporary abutment and crown. The crown will look like a natural tooth. Although you can't use the temporary crown to chew food, you won't have a gap in your smile during the healing process.
A bonded tooth
Another way that you can fill the gap during the healing process is to have your dentist bond an acrylic tooth to a tooth adjacent to the gap. The acrylic tooth won't assist you in chewing your food since it is only an aesthetic measure.
A flipper (partial denture)
If you prefer to have a removable option to fill the gap while your dental implant heals, you can choose to use a flipper. Flippers are also called partial dentures. The base of a flipper is acrylic and pink, so it resembles gum tissue. Flipper teeth are also usually made of dental-grade acrylic.
You don't have to live with a gap in your smile while your dental implant heals. You can choose to fill the gap with one of the aforementioned approaches. Make sure you speak to your prosthodontist about these options if you wish to fill the gap in your smile after dental implant placement.