Dental implants offer a highly successful treatment option to replace one or several missing teeth. Modern implant techniques combine advanced dental materials with advanced surgical and prosthetic procedures for a naturally appearing and functioning result. Some implants can last a lifetime with proper oral hygiene and regular dental checkups. Continue reading to learn about the three parts of a dental implant.
To learn more about the dental implant procedure, schedule an appointment at Trident Dental for a comprehensive oral and implant evaluation.
Parts of Dental Implant: The Fixture
The fixture is the actual implant that is surgically placed in the area of the missing tooth’s root. Some implants are made of ceramic; however, most are made of titanium. The advantages of using titanium include:
Strength. The strength of titanium alloy makes it an excellent material to resist fractures and enable chewing of all types of foods.
Biocompatibility. Titanium is hypoallergenic and non-toxic to the body.
Osseointegration. A crucial factor in an implant’s success is its ability to fuse with the surrounding bone. This involves a process called osseointegration, which is possible with only a few materials, such as titanium.
Success. Titanium implants have been placed for over fifty years and enjoy a high long-term success rate exceeding ninety-five percent.
Parts of Dental Implant: The Abutment
The abutment is a connector between the fixture and the part of the implant that will be visible above the gumline. Some abutments are a part of the implant fixture, while others are attached separately. When the abutment is a separate component, it can be attached at the time of implant placement. However, it is most commonly placed later, after osseointegration is complete. Implant abutments can be made from a tooth-colored material such as zirconia or metals such as gold, titanium, or stainless steel.
Parts of Dental Implant: The Dental Crown
Although the fixture and implant play critical roles, you likely are most concerned with the prosthesis or dental crown. This artificial tooth replaces the crown of your missing natural tooth. The crown can be screwed or cemented into place. Your dentist carefully matches the color of the crown with your surrounding teeth. Additionally, the bite of your new crown precisely fits and functions with the opposing teeth. The materials used to make dental crowns include:
Gold. This metal has been used for decades and offers a strong and durable prosthesis that can last decades with proper oral hygiene. Gold also does very little damage to opposing teeth during chewing. The disadvantage of gold is its color, making it more useful on back teeth.
Porcelain. Ceramic or porcelain crowns provide an appearance that is virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Porcelain crowns are stain-resistant, strong, durable, and rarely fracture with normal chewing. Porcelain crowns can be used on implants placed in the front or back of your mouth. Some are made of all porcelain, while others are a combination of porcelain and metal.
Zirconia. Zirconia is a newer ceramic material used for crowns. One of its main advantages over traditional ceramic is increased strength.
Contact Trident Dental to learn how we can help you replace missing teeth with dental implants.