Dental Implants: What Are Abutments?

Dental Implants: What Are Abutments?

February 1, 2023

Dental implants are a revolutionary addition to the restorative dentistry field. Dental implants near you are being used to restore and transform smiles in patients with missing teeth. Apart from restoring smiles, these restorative prosthetics also improve a patient’s oral health and prevent future complications such as jaw bone deterioration.

Implants are designed to function, resemble and feel like natural teeth. They are firmly anchored within the jawbone, thereby preventing jawbone deterioration by stimulating the bone tissue.

Components of a Dental Implant

You will necessarily only have thought about this if you are about to undergo a dental implant procedure. It is fundamentally important to understand what dental implants are, the different roles each part plays, and where they are positioned before getting a dental implant.

This will help give you a better perspective of what to anticipate during and after the procedure.

Dental Abutments

An abutment is a connector screwed onto the surgically inserted dental implant to hold the dental crown or bridge used to cover and complete the dental implant.

The abutment is ideally screwed in after fully recovering from the surgery, and the implant is fused with the surrounding bone tissue. However, in other instances, the abutment may be installed simultaneously with the dental implant and a healing cuff attached to prevent the gums from leaving room to fit in the crown after the osseointegration process.

The healing cuff is designed to be much wider than the crown being fabricated to fit on top of the abutment. This guarantees that they will be sufficient space left for the crown to be fitted in after the gum has healed and sealed.

Dental abutments may be fabricated from gold, stainless steel, titanium, or zirconia. Zirconia is a material that is gaining popularity among most patients who visit our implantologist in San Rafael. This is because this material is more natural-looking and matches your natural teeth, making it inconspicuous.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are titanium or metal posts surgically inserted into your jawbone to act as the root system for the missing tooth. These metal posts are situated below the gum line and are the root and anchor system for single-tooth replacements or implanted dentures in San Rafael.

After the surgery, the dental implant is allowed to heal and fuse with the surrounding bone tissue through a process known as osseointegration. This process can take between 6 to 12 weeks.

Before you undergo this surgery, our dentist will conduct a thorough examination to check on your jaw bone status. You have sufficient bone tissue to firmly hold the implant in position after the fusing process.

To ascertain this, our dentist may ask you to take some X-rays to show your jawbone mass clearly.

In other instances, these examinations may indicate that the jawbone is not healthy or strong enough to hold a dental implant. In this case, our dentist may recommend you get a bone graft.

A bone graft procedure involves acquiring bone tissue from another part of the body or using synthetic bone tissue to reinforce the jawbone.

Prosthesis or Tooth Replacement

This is the visible portion of the dental implant. The fake tooth or tooth replacement usually covers and completes the dental implant. The prosthesis may be a crown, bridge, or implant denture in San Rafael.

The tooth replacement is placed on top of the abutment and held firmly using special dental cement. The crown, bridge, or denture is designed, fabricated, and made to resemble your surrounding natural teeth.

In most cases, it will be nearly impossible for anyone to tell that you have an implant because they are inconspicuous and blend in seamlessly with the rest of your teeth.

Apart from being designed to resemble your natural teeth, dental implants also function like your natural teeth. They are firmly anchored into your jawbone, meaning the implant can withstand biting or chewing force without shifting out of place.

Unlike other tooth replacement options, dental implants stimulate the jawbone and prevent jawbone deterioration, which can lead to issues such as facial sagging over time.

Contact us at San Rafael Dentistry (Peter Zahedi DMD) for more information on dental implants and other restorative dentistry options.

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