This article, originally published 2/5/13, is one of our most widely read regarding tips about implants.

Hate stuffing cotton pellets into implant screw access? Tired of squirting light bodied impression material into those same openings and then trying to clean it up?

Here is a very quick and easy solution that will make life much easier.

Go to your favorite hardware store and buy a couple of rolls of plumber's tape, yes of course you ask them for the STERILE rolls. (This is my attempt at journalistic humor.) Your total investment should be less than $2 per roll.

When you are ready to protect your implant screw access opening, simply tear off one to two inches of the tape and roll it into a tight ball. Using a cotton plier push it into the screw opening and compress it tightly. The tape is easy to manipulate and you can form it against the walls of the abutment cylinder to completely cover the top of the screw.

If the time comes that you need to access the screw again, cut away the restorative material until you expose the tape and then hook it with an explorer and it will lift out easily. Fast, easy, simple!


Commenter's Profile Image Devren Anderson
July 1st, 2013
Tape is great tip!
Commenter's Profile Image Paul Caselle DDS
July 3rd, 2013
It is more appropriately called Latex Tape which I have been using for a while. Works great. I also would like to add - take an intraoral photo of the abutment making sure to show mesial and distal neighbors. It will show where the screw hole is in relation to neighboring teeth in the event you need to drill an access opening through the implant crown.