Learn about the function of this important component of implants
Without a question, dental implants have been the superior method of replacing missing teeth for many years. But people rarely consider what the different components of this premier restoration - perhaps until it’s time to undergo a dental implants procedure themselves.
With that being said, in this article, we’re going to explore a key part of the dental implant, which also happens to be one of our specialties: the abutment.
Dental abutments explainedAn abutment is a metal connector component that is attached onto the dental implant after a patient has fully healed from their dental implant surgery. The abutment screws into the implant, which serves a purpose to hold the dental crown (artificial replacement tooth) securely in place. Alternatively, a dental cement may be used to attach the abutment to the implant.
Placing abutments is a rather simple procedure that is often performed with the use of local anesthesia to protect the patient from any potential pain or discomfort. For patients with dental bridges, crowns are attached to two abutments which are are connected by natural teeth-resembling replacements referred to a “pontics”, that sit at the top of the gums.
Abutments are typically created in a dental laboratory, and are most commonly composed of titanium, gold, stainless steel, zirconia, or polyether ether ketone.
Dental implants explainedDental implants are essentially artificial tooth roots created to mimic the foundational purpose of a natural root in an implant restoration. They are composed of titanium metal material, and are surgically placed into the jawbone where a healthy tooth root resides naturally. Following this surgical placement in the same procedure, a healing cap or healing abutment will also be placed to stay fixed to the implant during the healing phase.
The bone in the jaw will heal around the implant through a process called osseointegration, which occurs over an average timeline of 4 to 6 months, depending on a patient’s general health. This permanent fusing or merging of the metal implant with the bone provides a stable and necessary foundation for the abutment and the crown.
With that being said, it is critical to ensure that the implant site is first well prepared to receive this permanent restoration. If, however, the dentist or surgeon concludes that a patient does not have adequate jaw volume or strength to properly support an implant, they will usually recommend a bone graft surgery. During this procedure, an oral surgeon will harvest bone from another site in the patient’s body or will use synthetic bone material to attach to the existing jawbone. This is a common procedure that allows for a successful placement and life-long dependability of a dental implant restoration.
Additionally, a patient may also not have adequate healthy gum to support an implant if they have experienced a considerable level of gum recession, which commonly occurs as a result of gum disease. Receded gums would not allow for a sturdy restoration, exposing the implant the same way this issue exposes natural tooth roots. Fortunately, like with a bone graft surgery, a gum grafting procedure can resolve this problem and ensure a stable implant placement.
Following the successful completion of osseointegration, it will be time for the implant to be attached to the abutment.
The dentist will create an incision into the gum tissue on top of the implant to allow for the attachment of the final abutment, and will then suture the gum surrounding the abutment. The abutment will remain situated above the gumline as the gum tissue heals. It will generally take around two to three weeks for the gums to heal around the abutment. Following this recovery, the dentist will then place the custom-created crown onto the abutment, and the dental implant restoration will be considered complete.
Now that you’re more informed about what exactly goes into a dental implant restoration from components like abutments to the procedure itself, you’re in an even better position to have an enlightening conversation about implants with your dental care provider.
With proper daily oral hygiene care and regular visits to the dentist, dental implants are one of few restorative options that can truly last a lifetime. Abutments International wishes patients the very best on their journey to a restored and healthy smile!
Dentists: You can Trust Abutments International Inc. with All of Your Dental Implant Supply Needs
Dentists can rest assured that they are employing the best of dental implant supplies and materials when they source from Abutments International Inc.
Established to offer our customers high quality implant products at reasonable prices, Abutments International Inc. is thrilled to a be part of dentists’ success in providing exceptional quality restorations to their patients. Please contact us today if you have any questions, or to inquire about any one of our products.