I’ve been looking forward to getting dental implants for a while. While I like how the implant crown itself looks and love having a natural bite back without the wiggling of a removable partial, my gums above the implant crown look gray. I know infection can lead to dental implant failure. It doesn’t hurt, which I thought it would but I can’t figure out another reason for it to look gray. Can you help?
I’m glad you like the aesthetics and feel of having dental implants. They’re the top of the line tooth replacement. It doesn’t sound to me like you have an infection at your implant site. Instead, you probably have thin gum tissue, allowing the metal of the titanium implant to show through. This is a common problem and could have been avoided.
One of the most important factors in dental implants is placement. With thin gum tissue, one of two choices should have been made.
Place the Implant in Better position
Knowing you had thin gums, should have made your dentist consider how it would look when he placed them. There is a possibility that the only place to give you ideal health and osteointegration of the bone around the implant is where he placed them. In that case, he should have picked the next option.
Use a Metal-Free Dental Implant
We no longer have to use titanium. Newer options include ceramic and zirconia implants. Of those two choices zirconia would be a great one because of its innate strength. It’s as strong as steel without the aesthetic issues (and possible sensitivities) that come with metal.
I’m sure you’re not interested in going back to a removable partial denture after all the time and money you’ve invested in implants; especially given the jump you’ll experience in quality of living with them.
Your best bet at this point is to see an expert implant dentist or two and discuss ways to fix this. Many dentists will do complimentary consultations for advanced cases like these.
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