Dental Implant Abutment: Everything You Need to Know

Dental Implant Abutment: Everything You Need to Know

November 1, 2023

At San Rafael Dentistry, we understand that dental restoration procedures can provide patients with a renewed opportunity to showcase their vibrant smiles. If you find yourself missing one or more teeth, our skilled team of dentists may recommend dental implants as an excellent solution. Dental implants consist of three integral components, each carefully placed to offer a permanent solution that mirrors the appearance and function of a natural tooth.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is made up of three fundamental elements: a metal base, a connector, and a prosthetic tooth cap. The metal base is anchored deep within the jawbone under the gums, acting as a stand-in for a tooth’s natural root. The connector links the metal base to the prosthetic cap. This cap, tailored to resemble your own teeth, fits seamlessly alongside your existing ones. Once the gums around the connector have healed completely, the prosthetic cap is positioned.

Understanding the Implant Abutment in Dentistry

Abutments play a vital role as connectors between the tooth and the implant. These components can be crafted from various materials, including titanium, zirconia, gold, or stainless steel. Your dentist in San Rafael, CA, will guide you in selecting the appropriate material and procedure based on your unique needs. Abutments can be placed either simultaneously with the implant or during a subsequent surgery following implant placement.

The design of your abutment will vary depending on whether you require a bridge, denture, or crown. For crowns, the abutment typically resembles a short screw. It can be connected through an internal hexagon within the implant post or an external hexagon connector atop the implant post.

Healing Abutment

If you’re undergoing dental implant treatment in San Rafael, CA, your dentist may employ a healing cap to aid in gum tissue regeneration. Healing abutments are positioned over the implant and feature a wider width to accommodate the eventual crown. This method avoids the requirement for several surgical procedures. Without a healing cap, the dentist would need to reopen your gums after the implant has fused with your jawbone to fit the crown. With a healing abutment, the process simply involves reshaping the gum area around the crown to ensure a natural fit.

Placement of Abutments

There are two options for securely affixing a dental implant within the jawbone. In the first option, gum tissue is used to cover the abutments, requiring approximately six months to heal. Following this healing period, your dentists near you will make a small incision in your gums to expose the abutments, facilitating crown placement.

The second option involves attaching a healing abutment. A healing cuff is connected to the external part of the implant. This wider healing abutment provides ample space for the crown while allowing the surrounding gums to heal. This method is preferred as it eliminates the need for a second surgery.

After the metal screw has fully fused with your jawbone, the healing abutment is removed, and the crown is fitted onto the implant. Your gums may require reshaping since the space created by the healing cap may not precisely match the size of your crown.

It will take four to six weeks for the gums surrounding the abutment to heal. During this time, it’s crucial to follow your dentist’s instructions carefully.

Aftercare Tips and When to Contact Your Implant Dentist

Following your dentist’s post-procedure instructions, including dietary guidelines and oral hygiene practices, is essential for a smooth healing process. Fortunately, these aftercare tips closely resemble the standard oral care routine recommended for natural teeth.

Don’t forget to clean your teeth two times a day with the right brushing methods. Include water flossers in your hygiene regimen to clean your teeth effectively. Your dentist may also recommend suitable mouth rinses or additional measures between checkups to maintain your oral health.

Contact your dentist immediately if you experience uncontrollable bleeding, a fever exceeding 100.4˚F, a cracked prosthesis, an uneven bite, a loose abutment, or persistent facial pain that cannot be relieved with prescribed painkillers. Your dental well-being is our foremost concern, and we stand by you throughout your implant procedure journey.