Ask a Dentist

August 24, 2023

Q: What Is An Abutment?

an abutment model on a blue background, showing teeth and their roots plus a metal implant

Dental implants have revolutionized the field of restorative dentistry, providing patients with a durable and natural-looking solution to replace missing teeth. While most people are familiar with the concept of a dental implant, fewer understand the role of an abutment.

An abutment is a key component in the dental implant process. Understanding its importance allows patients to appreciate the meticulous planning and precision involved in achieving a successful dental implant outcome.

What Is A Dental Abutment?

An abutment is a connector piece that serves as an intermediary component between the dental implant fixture and the final restoration, such as a crown or bridge. It’s typically made of high-quality materials like titanium, zirconia or gold alloy. The abutment plays a crucial role in supporting and retaining the prosthetic tooth or teeth while facilitating proper alignment and stability within the implant system.

Placing The Abutment

After the dental implant fixture has been surgically placed into the jawbone by an oral surgeon, the patient enters a healing period. During this time, the bone fuses with the implant fixture in a process called osseointegration, providing a stable foundation for the artificial tooth. Once osseointegration is complete, the abutment is attached to the implant fixture through a minor surgical procedure.

Your oral surgeon will reopen your gums to expose the dental implant, allowing access to attach the abutment securely. Once attached, the gum tissue is carefully closed around the abutment, ensuring a snug fit. In certain cases, the abutment may already be connected to the dental implant metal post during the initial implantation, eliminating the need for an additional surgical step. However, it's important to note that in this scenario, the abutment will be visible above the gumline until the final tooth prosthesis is placed.

While some individuals may find this appearance undesirable and prefer a separate procedure for abutment placement, others may opt for the convenience of having it done during the initial implantation. Following the placement of the abutment, your gums will need approximately two weeks to heal before the artificial tooth can be attached, completing the restoration process.

If you're considering dental implants as a solution for missing teeth, consult with our dental professionals at Dental Image Therapy Centres. We can guide you through the entire dental implant process, including placement and restoration. Schedule a consultation today or visit our clinics at St. Vital Centre and Garden City Shopping Centre, and embark on your journey to a healthier smile.

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