Shaving down dental implant to make room for the crown that will go on it?

| May 16, 2014 | 1 Comment

by Violet
(New York)

I had an implant done on a bottom molar a few years ago and didn’t get around to placing a crown on it yet. I’m now seeing a dentist about placing a crown on the implant tooth and he tells me that the top molar that’s supposed to come into contact with the bottom implant tooth has dropped/protruded over time due to not having the support of the bottom tooth.

My dentist says my options are to:
a) shave down my healthy top molar to make room for the implant crown.
b) shave down the actual implant.
c) A little bit of both.

I’m not sure if this is common practice and I’m not sure which option is better. On the one hand, I don’t want to shave down a perfectly healthy tooth. On the other hand, I worry whether the stability or longevity of the implant will be compromised if he shaves it down instead of the healthy tooth.
What are your recommendations and why?

Thanks in advance for your responses!

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Category: Problems After Placing Implant

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  1. sandydig says:

    Shaving away natural tooth vs shorter implant crown
    by: Stacey Norrell, RDH

    Teeth that do not have an opposing tooth will over time drop down slowly. This is normal and is not surprising. Unfortunately, that does effect your “bite” when placing an opposing tooth. Your dentist will take impressions of both the upper and lower arch to assure that the new crown will occlude properly with the opposing tooth.

    Depending on how much the tooth has supererupted it may be possible to adjust that tooth by removing a very minimal amount of enamel. You do not want to remove so much of the tooth that you remove a substantial amount of enamel and compromise the strength of the molar.

    If your dentist determines that adjusting the natural molar is not the best option, he can make the crown that fits on the implant post adjust to the opposing molar. This will not damage the implant post, this is just simply making the porcelain crown fit properly into occlusion.

    I would recommend moving forward with the implant crown as soon as reasonably possible. Your molar will continue to drop down into the empty space until it is filled.

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