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Dentistry/Any Issues with Adjacent Implant Crowns ?


Hi Dr Kaufman,

Posting this question on behalf of my wife.

She's had a lot of periodontal work done the past 3 years along with having several teeth removed and getting implants.

Overall, her dental condition has improved a lot according to her dentist and periodontist. The implants she has received have done well.

Now, she is in process of getting a crown for the implant that was put in 6 months ago. This implant is next to another existing implant.

While getting the impression made for the new crown, the dentist warned her there might be a problem with food getting between the crowns and causing problems, due to the space between the crowns. This could result in having to remove the first crown and redoing it.

My wife thought this seemed very odd, as he knew for a long time about her getting the implant in this location and said there would be any issues with this situation.

So, the questions....

A) Why would the dentist make such an issue of this all of a sudden and

B) Wouldn't dentist make allowances for spacing when taking the impression?

C. My wife has been extremely disciplined the past 3 years about daily dental hygiene. She uses an electric toothbrush, floss, water-pik, and those little devices that look like miniature pipe cleaners, but have tapered profile. So, it seems like there should be not much issue of having food stay for long time between the two implants, correct?

Thank you for your input and advice. Greatly appreciate it.


Dear Mark and Wife,
In dentistry, there is a saying: “told before is informed consent. Told after is an excuse.” It is, unfortunately impossible for me to evaluate your wife’s situation without clinically examining her. However, a common problem with implants is that contrary to the commercials you see on TV or read in a newspaper, implant “are not like natural teeth”. When the implant “comes out” of the bone and gum, it is a circle that is smaller in diameter than the original teeth. As the implant crown comes out to the surface, the top of it resembles the natural tooth. This difference in the width/diameter creates areas where food can easily get trapped, as well as plaque and tarter. Your dentist is probably right to warn you and better done now than after the crown is done on the implant and he has to make excuses. Since I cannot evaluate your situation, my suggestion is to proceed and make the current crown and see how you do with cleaning the space. From the sound of it, you r wife has gotten very adapt to proper hygiene, care and maintenance care of her teeth. That is a good thing and in general, most people do not have any issues in implant maintenance.  The situation you are describing is very common and should not be a problem in the long run. I would like to give you more information but, like I said, it is impossible for me to examine your wife over this very limited forum. I wish you and your wife best of luck and good luck with the new teeth.

Zev Kaufman, DDS


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Zev Kaufman, D.D.S.


I can answer any question from simple routine dentistry to very complex dentistry with emphasis on reconstructive, cosmetic, and implant dentistry. My expertise is in co-ordination of very complex treatment plans with other dental specialists or as a one-man-team, since I have extensive training in Prosthodontics, Surgical Implantology, and orthodontics.


Over a decade in private practice of Surgical Implantology and Prosthodontics. Founder and owner of Prosthodontics & Implant Surgery of Manhattan, PC. Clinical Assistant Professor at the Post-Graduate Department of Periodontics & Implant Dentistry at New York University College of Dentistry. Lecture weekly since 1999 on advanced Implant Prosthodontics at New York University College of Dentistry Post-Graduate Program in Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. Former clinical assistant professor of Dental Radiology at the NYU College of Dentistry. Former clinical and lecture faculty at Lincoln Hospital, Dental residency program. Former clinical and lecture faculty at St. Barnabas Hospital (Bronx, NY) dental residency program. Lecture nationally on Prosthodontics and Implant Dentistry.

Memeber of the American College of Prosthodontics. Memeber of the Acacdemy of Osseointegration. Member or the Omikron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) Honors Dental Society. Member of the American Dental Education Association.

Graduated with Honors from New York University College of Dentistry. Post-Graduate training and certificate in the specialty of Prosthodontics. Post-Graduate training and ceritificate in Surgical and Prosthetic Implant Dentistry. Honors-program in Comprehensive and Applied Practice Management. Honors-program in Orthodontics.

Awards and Honors
NYU Cervice award to the community. OKU honor society. National Dean's List. National Who's Who.

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