Replacing A Dental Implant Crown And When It May Be Necessary

Nov 30, 2023
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While dental implants over a robust and natural-looking solution to missing teeth, over time the implant crown may need replacement. We explain why replacing a dental crown may be necessary and what signs to look out for.

One of the questions we’re often asked is “Can a dental implant crown be replaced?” The short answer is yes. However, that doesn’t really satisfy anyone’s curiosity. Instead, this post explores the reasons why replacing a dental implant crown may be necessary. So, without further ado, let’s jump in and get started by explaining the different types of crowns.

The difference between traditional dental crowns and implant crowns

Have you ever wondered how a conventional dental crown differs from a dental implant crown? The former is placed over a damaged or unsightly natural tooth with an existing root structure whereas a dental implant crown is used to complete a dental implant installation. During the procedure, a titanium post is surgically inserted into the jawbone where it acts as an artificial tooth root, bonding with the surrounding bone to provide a robust platform that can support a replacement tooth or crown.  An abutment is attached to the implant post and sits just beneath the gumline to anchor the implant crown. In other words, a conventional dental crown restores the integrity of a tooth while an implant crown adds the finishing touch to a dental implant installation and looks just like a natural tooth.

About implant crowns

There are two different types of implant crowns:

  • Cement-retained implant crown - Dental cement is used to permanently attach this type of dental crown on the top of the abutment – which forms part of the implant itself. Dentists and patients tend to prefer this type of implant crown because it’s easy to attach and looks extremely natural. On the downside, it can be uncomfortable, messy and challenging to replace.
  • Screw-retained implant crown – This type of implant crown uses two screws to attach it to the abutment – one on the biting surface and the other on the side of the crown facing the tongue. The main benefit of this type of dental implant crown is your dentist can easily remove it for repairs, restoration or replacement, just by unscrewing the screws.

As you may have guessed, replacing a dental implant crown is not as straightforward as a conventional dental crown, so it’s vital to visit an experienced dental implant dentist should you need a replacement.

How long does a dental implant crown last?

While the dental implant itself is designed to be permanent, according to research, around 95% of crowns will remain in a patient’s mouth for at least five years, without needing major treatment. However, in the long term, findings reveal survival rates at 15-20 years to be around 50-80%.

When would a dental implant crown need to be replaced?

A replacement implant crown may be necessary for several reasons. Here are four signs that could indicate that yours needs to be replaced.


Over time, a dental implant crown can experience extensive wear. While implant crowns are made from durable materials like ceramic and porcelain, just like natural teeth, they are still susceptible to damage. Cracks can be caused by biting down on a hard object or by suffering a sports-related injury. Tiny cracks can also form in a crown after years of use that weaken it, making it more vulnerable to larger cracks. Bruxism, a condition where an individual grinds or clenches their teeth, can also cause a crown to fail sooner.

Esthetic Concerns:

Changes in the color, shape, or overall appearance of a dental implant crown may lead to esthetic concerns. Discoloration, chipping, or noticeable wear can impact the natural look of your smile. If your implant crown no longer meets your esthetic expectations, replacing it can restore a vibrant and natural appearance, boosting your confidence in your smile.

Gum recession

Without proper brushing and flossing, plaque can accumulate around the base of implant crowns. While porcelain isn’t affected by plaque, the acid contained within plaque can still attack the gums. Without treatment, bacteria will destroy the gum tissue, causing a condition known as gum recession, where the gums pull away from the implant crown causing a dark line to appear. Regular dental check-ups should ensure your dentist spots the tell-tale signs before they escalate into a more serious problem.

Loose crown

On occasion, the bonding material attaching the implant crown to the abutment may fail and the crown will have to be replaced. A loose crown can cause a clicking sound when you speak or chew.


Replacing a dental implant crown is a proactive step in preserving both the functionality and esthetics of your smile. Whether prompted by normal wear and tear, esthetic concerns, damage, changes in gum health, or the availability of advanced dental technologies, timely replacement ensures your implant continues to serve you well. Regular consultations with your dentist and a commitment to oral health will help identify when replacing a dental implant crown is necessary, allowing you to enjoy the full benefits of your dental implant for years to come.

Do you need a new dental implant crown?

If you notice any abnormalities in the implant crown or the surrounding gum tissue, schedule a prompt visit to Chesterfield Dentistry to prevent the potential worsening of the issue. Call us today at 314 -936-3621 or use our online booking service.