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The Role of an Abutment Plays in a Dental Implant

July 22, 2022

One of the many missing tooth replacement options, the dental implant treatment involves multiple steps & multiple parts with the Dental Abutment being one of those important parts.

The different components of dental implants are usually not a topic of discussion or concern until you have one or more missing teeth and need implants yourself.

This is when one starts wondering about abutment and it’s going to be inserted into their mouth.

In this article we will try to demystify for you the ‘dental abutments’, putting all your apprehensions to rest as we at Kirkland Premier Dentistry feel that an informed decision is the best decision.

Let us start by understanding Dental Implants.

What are Dental Implants?

Metal fixtures that mimic tooth roots, Dental Implants are surgically fastened into the jawbone below the gums. The primary purpose of a dental implant is to replace a missing tooth.

The implant is made up of 3 distinct pieces:

  • Implant 
  • Abutment
  • A Crown

An implant is a metal post that is inserted into the jawbone right below the gums during an outpatient surgical procedure.

It becomes integrated into the bone through the process of osseointegration where the bone fuses into the metal, providing stability for the abutment and the crown to be placed. 

Dr. Gaurav Sharma at Kirkland Premier Dentistry who has been performing many Dental Implants successfully for many years emphasizes the need for the implants to properly heal & fuse prior to abutments being placed.

Generally known to be quite successful, dental implants may sometimes fail. Though the failure of dental implants is a rare issue, it may result in problems with the abutments.

So even if it is a lengthy and time-consuming process, it is best recommended to let natural fusing and healing take place. 

Once the implant is secured in the jawbone and the gums have healed, the abutment is screwed into the implant to give a strong base for the new artificial crown.

The completion of the process gives the patient a brand new tooth providing normal mouth function and a perfect smile.

Now let us understand the role of the abutment in the Dental Implant Procedure.

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What Is a Dental Implant Abutment?

Dental Abutment is a very important part of the Dental Implant procedure that is placed by the oral surgeon after the patient has healed from the Dental Implant Surgery.

This small titanium or zirconia extender is like a short stumpy screw, also known as a connector because whereas the implants only help to replace the tooth structure inside the jawbone, the abutment performs the job of connecting the dental implant to the artificial tooth/dental crown.

Besides connecting the implant to the crown, the abutment also plays a vital role in shaping the gums around the dental restoration site.

Screwing into the implant, the abutment securely holds the crown in place. In the case of the dental bridge, the crowns are placed on two abutments, connected by replacement teeth called pontics that rest on top of the gums.

Made in a dental lab, the abutments are generally made from titanium, gold, stainless steel, or tooth-colored filling material to make them strong, secure, and not too conspicuous.

The abutment is sometimes incorporated into the implant post in some implant designs.

Abutment placement is a minor procedure that is generally done under local anesthesia to save the patient from any possible pain. 

The main objective of the abutment is to securely connect the implant and the artificial crown, which are commonly cemented or screwed into the abutment.

Abutments come in many shapes and sizes for different requirements like:

  • Instantly after the implant surgery: Sometimes a dentist might prefer putting a healing dental abutment, covering the centre of a dental implant, to promote healthy gum development. The objective of a healing abutment is to play a significant role in the healing of the implant and not to attach to a dental implant.
  • After healing abutment: A custom-made abutment is chosen by the dentist to adequately match the anatomy of the patient, especially in the case where the implant is in a more visible area of the mouth while smiling. A custom-made abutment ensures that the crown & the implant look natural.

How to Practice Good Oral Hygiene with Implants?

Proper care for the implants and abutment is very simple and similar to caring for natural teeth:

  • Brush Properly at least twice a day, along the gums and sweeping the toothbrush toward the biting surface of the tooth. 
  • Use an interdental brush or water flosser to clean between the teeth at least once a day.
  • Use antimicrobial mouth rinses and tongue scrapers to keep your mouth healthy and clean.
  • Visit the dental professional regularly for a routine dental checkup. This will not only help to keep your teeth sparkling and bacteria-free but also ensure the checkup of the health of your implant. 

Your dental surgeon may also take X-rays now and then to examine the bone level surrounding your implant, and also check the gum tissue near the abutment to ensure that the area is healthy and free from any inflammation.

Afterword

We hope that the above article would have helped you to understand dental abutments and the other dental implant components better and now you will be able to have informed conversations with your dental professional while discussing your tooth restoration options. 

At our office, Dr Gaurav Sharma ensures that the patient is made aware of all the aspects of Dental Implant Surgery.

Our team works with full dedication and commitment toward providing you with replacement teeth that look & function exactly like the natural ones.

Good oral hygiene and regular visit to the dental professional can make the implants last a lifetime.

Do you wish to know more about dental abutments and the role they play in the dental implant process? 

We are here to help you and address all your concerns.  

Book an appointment now.

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