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Fixed Dental Implant Crown and Bridge Materials Options: An Overview By Burbank Dental Implant Expert, Ramsey Amin, DDS

This post is intended toward dental implant crown and bridge restorations that stay in the mouth and are not removable.  Denture implants called overdentures are not “fixed”, they must be removed daily. All materials have advantages and disadvantages.  The following is a summary of the materials that can be used.

Dental Implant Restorations:  Crowns and Bridges
There are basically four options that I use:

 Full Cast Gold (High Noble Metal) Made of a gold alloy, full cast gold is the longest lasting of any of the laboratory-processed materials. The alloy consists of gold, silver, palladium, and sometimes zinc, copper, and platinum. Although it is a very strong material, the yellow color makes it not as esthetically pleasing as other options.

 Full Cast Noble Metal Similar in properties and qualities to full cast gold, this material contains mostly palladium plus silver, gold, and other trace metals.  Full cast noble material is more silver in color than a full noble metal.

 PFM -Porcelain Fused to Gold (High Noble or Noble Alloy Metal) This material is very esthetic and can last 5 to 20 years. The gold substructure is covered with porcelain, which can wear opposing teeth or fracture under forceful biting or grinding. The porcelain can be applied to just the surface of the crown facing on cheek.  The result will not be as esthetic, but will last longer. A night-guard may be recommended for protection.

 All Ceramic or All Porcelain (Zirconia) This is the newest technology in laboratory-processed restorations and is considered very esthetic.  They look very real. No metal is used in the process, and therefore no metal will ever be visible. It is excellent for restoration of front and back teeth. The same cautions exist as with any porcelain or ceramic material: it can wear opposing natural enamel, and a night – guard may be recommended for protection from bruxing or grinding.  Some processes in fabrication of the all ceramic or porcelain crown are actually controlled by a computer!

All the above take at least two appointments to finish.

Abutment preparation, impressions, and temporary crown or bridge will be done at the first appointment.  Your final cementation will take place during a second appointment.  Because of the highly technical nature of the process and my exacting standards, I may need to take more than one impression. If I detect an irregularity with the returned laboratory restoration, I will take a new impression and redo the dental implant restoration.

I will recommend the best material to meet your specific needs and answer any questions you have.

Longevity of any of the restorations depends on the quality of the materials (and I only use the best), the technical skills in construction, and what you need to do with the restorations once they are in your mouth.
Clenching and grinding habits will significantly shorten the useful life of any restoration placed. What can break your natural tooth can break any man made restoration!  Don’t chew ice! 

Your oral self-care will affect the length of service of the restoration. You will need regular dental examinations and cleanings at intervals determined by your particular needs and gum health.

A rule of thumb is that the more restorations you have in your mouth, the more care you will need. Any problem that begins can be discovered and corrected when it is small: with regular dental examinations, you can protect your dental implant investment.

Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
Burbank, California

11 thoughts on “Fixed Dental Implant Crown and Bridge Materials Options: An Overview By Burbank Dental Implant Expert, Ramsey Amin, DDS

  1. Hello Dr. Amin,

    My general dentist said Lava Zirconia is the best material to use for the front teeth, 6 unit fixed bridge.
    What are your thoughts?

    1. Many times it is!! It is a concept of “layering” porcelain over a zirconia substructure…. kind of a hybrid of strength and beauty.

  2. Hi Dr. Ramsey

    Last year, I completed my all-on-4 implant and fixed acrylic upper arch procedures. My acrylic teeth have broken several times, and I’ve had to have the prosthesis repaired. Considering the poor durability of acrylic “teeth”, I’m looking for a replacement. In a previous post reply, you mentioned
    “replace your acrylic dental implant bridge with a Prettau solid zirconia bridge if you have enough from the edges of your teeth to the tops of your implants** – See more at: https://www.burbankdentalimplants.com/fixed-dental-implant-bridge-vs-implant-denture-what-is-the-real-difference/#sthash.Kvm5ZqCW.dpuf
    Assuming I’m not a candidate for a “Prettau Zirconia” type of arch, what’s the next best thing? It’s been suggested that I use a “Ceramic Hybrid”
    Thanks so much for such an awesome site and professional advice.

    1. Hello Bruce!

      Thank you for your very kind words. Your definitely a candidate to replace your broken all on 4 dental implant bridge with a solid zirconia Prettau dental implant bridge! I do this all the time! I see at least 1 broken all on 4 bridge every day. It is one of the main reasons why I do not do it. Is long as you have adequate interarch space, you can replace your bridge with a Prettau bridge.

      Are you local enough to come in?

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

  3. I;m having a tooth extracted, because I Have bone loss, I’m also having a bridge put in, which would be the best for me: 1. High Noble metal 2.noble Metal 3. Porcelain fuse to Gold 4. All Ceramic or all Porcelain

    1. Hi David,

      Great question! Shorter bridges in general can be done with high noble or all porcelain depending on many factors. If the bridge is longer, the noble metals flex less. I suggest staying away from non-precious metals unless the bridge is really long and you have little choice. Full Zirconia may be an option too.

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

  4. Hi Becky,
    If you have upper teeth above it, it is far better to have 2-3 implants. This will support your bone and prevent bite collapse.
    Avoid “minimal engineering” for your dental implant restorations.
    Dr. Amin

  5. I don’t know the size. Actually had numbers wrong it would be an implant next to 29 so at 30 only as there is not a tooth at 31 and 32 has to be pulled. So question would be if only one implant was put at 30 is that enough to be able to function versus having 2 implants or 3 implants or 2 implants and a bridge? thank you.

  6. Is there a crown large enough to put in place of where teeth numbers 29 and 30 would be on an implant instead of placing 2 implants there and in particular for someone who tends to grind their teeth? Lower Molar and wisdom teeth are absent….
    Upper teeth above those area’s are there but wisdom tooth is small.

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About Ramsey Amin, DDS

Dr. Ramsey Amin has extensive experience in surgical and restorative implant dentistry. As one of only less than 400 Diplomates of the American Board of Oral Implantology/ Implant Dentistry (ABOI/ID) he is considered an expert, and board-certified in dental implants. He is a former instructor at the UCLA School of Dentistry.