Dental implants are used to take the place of missing teeth. There are 3 parts to a dental implant; (1) The implant, (2) The implant abutment, and (3) The crown.
The overall dental implant process includes exposing the jawbone, drilling a small hole and carefully screwing the implant into the bone. The implant is a titanium screw that will fuse with your natural bone providing a safe, stable base and act as the new tooth “root.” The design of the implant varies greatly depending on the patient need. Design types include cylindrical, threaded, perforated and hollow. The gum is placed back on top of the implant so that the implant can heal. Next, the abutment is fitted into the top of the implant. This is a connector between the implant and the crown that may be hexagonal or octagonal in shape and is sized depending on the position of the implant in the patient’s mouth. Finally, the crown is placed on top of the abutment. The crown is created to look exactly like natural teeth and is made from bone-like ceramic material. This crown is connected with special dental cement and a small screw.
The entire dental implant restoration is a finely tuned system. The patient should have confidence that their periodontal dental practitioner has thoroughly studied the many dental implant options on the market and will not compromise on material, working only with “gold standard” companies. Whether a patient is replacing a single tooth or reconstructing an entire mouth, he/she needs to be sure that all implant products are today’s best in order to achieve fully functional, natural-looking and long-lasting results.
Dental Implant Materials: There is a Difference
Do you think that all dental implant materials are created equal? They’re definitely not. And, while patients shouldn’t have to think about the make, model and material of their dental implants like they would as if purchasing a car, they should have full confidence that their board-certified periodontist has done his or her implant purchase homework.
There are more than 60 manufacturers of FDA approved dental implant materials which include the implant bases, the abutments, and the tooth-like crowns. And, like vehicles on the market, these various dental implant systems can vary in sophistication, quality and reliability.
From the design of the threads, the chemistry of the surface, and the connection to the crown that goes on top of it, implants can vary greatly. These factors all attribute to performance and long-term outcome. You need to be sure your periodontist only works with dental implant manufacturers with great track records—ones who have invested the time and research in their products and can prove clinical success.
PhilipL. Fava, II, DMD, MDSc , partners with Dr. Robert A. Levine at the Pennsylvania Center for Dental Implants and Periodontics, located at Einstein Center One, Suite 211-212, 9880 Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19115. The Center offers “All-on-Four™ dental implants, SameDay Smile®, esthetic (or “Smile Zone”) dental Implants and crown and bridge implant restorations in addition to laser treatment of periodontal disease and reconstructive dental surgery.
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