Dental Implant Abutments
Dental implants are an ideal solution for missing teeth, and can be used to restore oral health, as well as your smile. There are other options besides dental implants for replacing missing teeth, but generally dental implants are considered an optimal permanent solution, as opposed to dentures or dental bridges. A full dental implant is actually the sum of three separate parts, and allows people to function similarly to the way they did with their natural teeth. And although you may never have heard of a dental abutment, it is actually an essential part of any dental implant.
Procedure for Dental Implants
In every dental implant treatment procedure, a metal post must be implanted surgically into the jaw in the place where a natural tooth once existed. The implanted mental post functions as a kind of tooth-root and can fix an implant in the proper place. Eventually a crown that is tooth-shaped gets placed on the top of the post and looks like and functions like a natural tooth does, which allows a person to speak and chew naturally. The part that connects the implanted post to the crown is known as the abutment. Abutments are metal posts and are often made of titanium. The crowns vary a bit more and can be constructed from zirconia, ceramic, porcelain, metal or some combination.
Implant procedures usually take place in several stages, and these can vary from case to case. For instance, if a person has a jawbone that is weak or unable to support an implant as-is bone grafting might be a part of the overall process, but this will all be determined in thorough consultations between a patient and dentist.
Abutments and How They Work
Abutments are placed after the initial metal post (fixture) has fused with a person’s jawbone. Because it is biocompatible, titanium is often used for the construction of abutments, but abutments can also be constructed with zirconia, polyether ether ketone, stainless steel, or gold. Abutments are normally custom made in dental labs, many individual considerations are made. An abutment is constructed to look and feel like a natural tooth, which has been a bit shortened, since this is the ideal shape for crown placement. Considered a minor procedure placement of the abutment is typically done with the use of just local anesthesia. At the gum-line an abutment is attached to a titanium post that has already been implanted, and after the gums heal the crown can be placed onto the abutment.
Optimal Care for Implants
Optimal care for implants (which of course includes the abutment) includes flossing and brushing brushing least twice a day at least. The easiest way to think of it is that implants should be cared for just like natural teeth. In caring for implants interdental brushes are found by some people to be more effective and comfortable. Regular dental checkups - once every six months - are also recommended to ensure that any implants, crowns, and natural teeth look and feel healthy.