Understanding Dental Implant Abutments

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If you have a dental implant surgery planned, then your surgeon will discuss with you your options in regard to your tooth replacement. While an immediate load device can be used on occasion, this is not ideal for most people. An abutment is usually placed on the device instead. Keep reading to learn what this is. 

Why Is An Abutment Needed?

When a dental implant is secured in the mouth, an oral surgeon creates a hole in the jaw, and an implant root is screwed into the opening. The root is not secure at this point, and your bone needs time to heal. At first, a delicate structure of bone tissue attaches to the root, and this bone tissue will thicken and harden over time. When the bone is still delicate, a jolt, strong bite, or any sort of strong pressure can break the implant free from the root. The implant can then shift or completely fail.

Your oral surgeon will not fit you with an artificial tooth until the healing process is over. This will prevent any sort of disruption to the bone. However, the end of the root cannot be left exposed. Food and debris can work their way around the edge of the implant and cause an infection. A cap is secured on the root to prevent this, and this is called the abutment. 

What Is The Abutment?

The abutment is a cap that screws directly onto the top of the dental implant. A screw device allows for this, and this piece will also assist in the securing of the implant tooth when the time comes. In fact, the same screw top may be used for both devices if it remains in good condition throughout the healing process. 

The abutment may be made out of a variety of different materials. Titanium, gold, and porcelain are some of the more common materials. 

Since the abutment is exposed and highly visible, your dentist may choose an abutment that looks like a small tooth. It will be shorter, though, and not nearly as wide as your natural teeth. Sometimes the device will look like a small cap, and post type styles may be utilized as well. 

You will need to clean around the abutment device as you heal, and the cleaning process will depend on the type of cap that has been added.

If you want to know more about dental implants, the implant process, and the placement of an abutment, speak with an oral surgeon such as those working with Dental Design SD.