September 25, 2019
Dental implants have been used for decades as a way to easily replace missing teeth in a way that looks and feels completely natural. If you’re missing one or more teeth, you’re probably interested in dental implants to restore your smile. Maybe you want to learn a little bit more about them before you invest in them. That’s why we’ve written this guide to the parts of a dental implant.
The implant itself, also known as the post or fixture, is the part that is surgically inserted beneath your gumline and directly into your jawbone. It’s a small, screw-shaped structure that’s designed to perfectly mimic the structure of your lost tooth root. During the healing process, the post, usually made of biocompatible titanium, gradually fuses with your jawbone in a process called osseointegration. Once this process is complete, the implant is essentially a part of you, since your bone has grown around it.
Since the post itself lies entirely underneath the gumline, a metal connector must be placed above the gums to allow for the artificial tooth to be attached. This connector is known as an abutment. It’s basically a short, stumpy screw that extends at or slightly above the gumline to support the tooth replacement. The abutment and temporary restoration may be placed at the same time as the implant. However, many dentists will wait until osseointegration is complete so that the implant has enough time to heal.
Also sometimes called a prosthesis, the restoration is the part that goes over the implant to give it the appearance of a natural tooth. It’s typically in the form of a dental crown or bridge. It can be crafted from a few different materials, usually porcelain or ceramic, to give it the appearance of a natural tooth. Restorations are either cemented or screwed onto the abutment.
Dental implants have three main components that all serve important functions. If you’re missing one or more teeth and are interested in getting them replaced, contact your implant dentist to learn more about them.
About the Author
Dr. Bob Koenitzer attended the University of California at San Francisco, the top-rated dental school in the U.S. In addition to being the president of his class, he also received several awards for clinical excellence during his time at school. For six years in a row, he was voted Best Dentist in Petaluma, CA. He also provides dental implant to fill in any gaps in your smile, so if you’re interested, don’t hesitate to call (707) 766-6666 or click here to contact Dr. Koenitzer.
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