Dental Implants Explained

When it comes to replacing teeth, dental implants are increasingly becoming the treatment of choice.  They allow for natural aesthetics,  returning to full function (bite) while preventing bone loss and the need for dentures.

Dental Implants – A Blueprint

Implant restorations consist of a fixture – this is the part anchored to the bone.  An abutment – this is the part penetrating through the gums and the prosthesis – the tooth.

Sometimes abutments and prostheses are one combined part

implant_anatomy-basic-pic
Implant Anatomy

The Fixture

In a nut shell a fixture is just an anchor  which is screwed or tapped into the bone and will after sufficient healing time be able to support a tooth, bridge or denture.

Implants come in different materials. Most of them are titanium but recently we have seen the rise of ceramic implants as well.

The surface applied to the implant directly affects the speed and quality of the host bone attaching to it. Modern surfaces are generally super rough which has been shown to facilitate fast healing and increases in bone to implant contact.

The Abutment

The abutment is a basically a cylinder or similar shaped tube which can be attached to the implant penetrating through the gums,  allowing an implant crown to be placed on top via cementing or screw retained.

Abutments can be pre-made or custom-made in titanium or zirconia.
Custom abutments are regarded as the up to date way to go as it will preserve soft-tissue contour and health much better than the former.

For ongoing implant health the abutment must
A) fit very precisely to the fixture to minimize gaps harboring bacteria
B) be of a shape which will allow the connecting screw to stay tight.

A loose screw – will have a major impact on the bone surrounding the implant. A loose abutment screw can cause total implant failure, either due to implant fracture or inflammation of the bone surrounding the implant.

If you feel your implant retained item (crown, bridge, denture, fixed denture) is loose please give us a call.

The Prosthesis

The prosthesis attached to an implant can range from a single tooth to a complex fixed bridges. It can be screwed to the implant or cemented to the abutment.

A screw retained prosthesis allows the clinician access to the implant without destroying the prosthesis should something go wrong and screws help the prosthesis to fit better.

If you are unsure if you are getting a fair deal contact us for an alternative quote.

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