The Importance of the Abutment – Dental Abutments Uncovered

The Importance of the Abutment – Dental Abutments Uncovered

Do you know the various components which will contribute to your new smile? Dental Implants are never just implanted alone and include other important components, namely the dental prosthesis (artificial tooth) and the dental abutment. The dental abutment is by far the most important element in dental implant surgery. So exactly what is a dental abutment? This article will give you some more information about the abutment and let you in on why they are so crucial to the dental implant procedure.

What does the dental abutment do?

The term dental implant is often loosely used to describe the 18kt gold tooth gem  fitting of a whole new functioning tooth into the mouth but the actual term ‘dental implant’ technically only relates to the Titanium screw inserted into the jaw. The dental abutment is the component which connects the prosthesis to the implant. From a functional perspective it is the abutment which transfers the load from the teeth to the dental implant itself thus making the choice of material for this component extremely crucial.

At what stage is the abutment fitted?

There are two ways in which the abutment can be fitted:

1) With the implant.
The abutment can be fitted at the same time as the implant however this method is not so widely used.

2) After the implant has healed.
It is more common for your dentist to wait to fit the abutment once your implant has healed this method heals a lot faster than the first. Once your implant has healed your dentist will make an incision and insert the abutment into the implant. Often healing abutments or healing cuffs are used to help the site around the implant heal better before a final abutment is inserted.

How long does the abutment take to heal?

You can expect your dental abutment to take anything from 4-6 weeks to fully heal. This process can vary depending on patient’s lifestyle and operator skill.

What are the best dental abutment materials available on the market today?

There is no ‘best’ material for dental abutments – gold, ceramic and titanium are all potential abutment materials. The final choice will depend on what you as a patient require and also the type of prosthesis material you are opting for. Titanium has excellent healing properties, where as gold is often used for porcelain crowns because it lends to a far more natural colour with this material. Ceramics have the benefit of allowing light to pass through thus giving them overall the most natural colour. If you are unsure about which abutment material to go for be sure to sit with your dental practitioner and discuss your options before making any decision

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