Implants are not new on scene. Over the past decade, however, they have become much more mainstream. Chances are you probably know someone that has received one. Dental implants are most often indistinguishable from the rest of your teeth both aesthetically and in function. They are as close to having a natural tooth again as you can get.
There are three main components that come together to create a full restoration: the implant fixture, the abutment and the crown. At Dixie Oral Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery, one of our specialized oral surgeons places the implant fixture. The abutment is placed by either the oral surgeon or your restorative dentist and the crown is placed by your restorative dentist. Each component has a specific purpose that contributes to the overall structure’s success. Let’s learn a little more about each of these components.
The implant fixture is often made of titanium to minimize the possibility of allergic reactions without compromising the integrity of the structure. This is the base component that is placed into the jawbone. When placed, the fixture sits just beneath the gum line. It is meant to replace the roots of a tooth and continues to stimulate the surrounding bone. As the base, it also serves as support for the abutment and crown which are placed right on top. If a tooth extraction is needed, implant fixtures can sometimes be placed at the same visit. Our doctors go through years of additional advanced specialized training to be able to perform this procedure safely and efficiently.
Next is the abutment. This is a smaller piece that is placed on top of the implant fixture and held in place with a titanium screw. It is the connector between the fixture and the crown. The abutment sits just on top of the gum line and is meant to support the crown. Without the crown covering it, it looks like a metal post sticking out from your gums. When placed, the crown completely surrounds the abutment and keeps it out of sight. Either the oral surgeon or the restorative dentist can place this component.
The crown is the final piece that you will see day-in and day-out. It replaces the shape, size and function of your natural tooth. A shade check is done prior to the final crown being fabricated to ensure it matches the rest of your teeth seamlessly. They can be connected to the abutment by screw or cement. The crown is always placed by the restorative dentist.
All of these components come together to create a permanent solution for missing teeth. If cared for properly, these often last a lifetime. Care for them is the same as caring for your natural teeth. Regular brushing and home care as well as regularly scheduled visits with your general dentist for cleanings will go a long way in making sure your smile stays beautiful for a long time. We provide each patient with a free dental implant consultation at which a personalized treatment plan is created. Come ask any questions you have and learn about all options available to you.
Want to Talk About Your Specific Needs?
We offer a complementary consultation to discuss dental implants that includes a no-charge, 3D x-ray as well. You will meet with the surgeon to review your specific case including your health history and jaw condition, and your desired outcome. Lastly, you will meet briefly with our Treatment Coordinator to review the fees involved for your procedure and the available financing options.