Dental implants are made up of three parts that coexist to mimic natural teeth. These parts include the implant post, the abutment, and the dental restoration. Charlotte, NC dentist Dr. Durning Moore feels his patients should learn about these parts and how they come together to function properly. Having this knowledge will help you understand why dental implant supported restorations are the next best option to natural teeth.
The Dental Implant Post
The phrase dental implant actually refers to a metal post that is typically made of titanium. This piece is surgically implanted into the jaw bone. Its purpose is to replace the missing tooth root and support the dental restoration. This part of an implant restoration is what sets it apart from other teeth replacement options. It helps prevent bone loss and makes the dental restoration much more durable and stable.
Implants come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The diameters and lengths can differ to accommodate the different locations along the upper and lower jaw. There are two and one stage implants. The healing cap (abutment) is attached immediately after the implant is surgically placed with a one stage implant. With a two stage implant, the abutment is placed during a second procedure (about three to six months later). The number of dental implants required will depend on the type of dental restoration being attached.
The abutment is the connecting element that attaches the dental restoration to the dental implant. Healing abutments (used in one stage implants) will help the gum tissues heal properly around the implant site. Once the implant is fully fused with the surrounding bone, the healing abutment is then replaced with a permanent abutment. With a two stage implant, the incision is closed up after the implants are placed. Once the implant is fully fused with the surrounding bone, the site is opened back up and the permanent abutment is placed.
The Dental Restoration
The dental restoration is the part of the dental implant that replaces the crown portion of the tooth. Dr. Moore will determine the type of dental restoration you need based off the number and location of missing teeth. Patients with only one missing tooth, Dr. Moore will replace it with an implant supported dental crown. Patients who have several consecutive missing teeth, he will secure a dental bridge with two to three dental implants. For patients missing most or all of their teeth, Dr. Moore will secure a custom made denture with up to eight dental implants. With all the advances in dental technology, your new teeth will look, feel and function just like real teeth.
To learn more about the parts that make up an implant secured dental restoration, contact Charlotte Center for Complete Dentistry in Charlotte, NC today for a consultation with Dr. Moore. Schedule an appointment by contacting our office at (704) 275-5323 or use our online appointment request form.