If you have a friend or loved one with a dental implant, you probably wouldn’t know it unless they told you. Dental implants are the most natural-looking and natural functioning form of tooth replacement available today. So what exactly makes up this revolutionary implant structure?
Your natural tooth is made up of two basic parts: The tooth and the tooth root. Unlike other tooth replacement options (such as dentures), dental implants replace both of these parts, the visible tooth and the tooth root. A dental implant consists of an implant post, abutment and tooth restoration.
Implant Post: A surgical post is implanted in your gums and serves as the tooth root. Its healing is vital to the success of your overall implant. Implant posts resemble a tiny screw and are made of titanium. Titanium is very durable and compatible with your body. Over time, this titanium post fuses to the jawbone to make it strong enough to support a tooth restoration (crown) on top.
Abutment: This is a small metal piece that connects the implant post to the tooth restoration. Your implants dentist will attach the abutment after the post has had time to heal and fuse to the jawbone. Your abutment will be slightly visible above the gum line and be shaped according to the tooth restoration you choose.
Tooth Restoration: This is the top portion of the dental implant and the only part that is visible. Your tooth restoration procedure is the final step of your dental implants process. In most cases, a porcelain crown is the restoration of choice; it is custom designed to match your natural teeth in color and shape. If you have multiple missing teeth, you may opt for an implant-supported bridge or dentures instead of crowns.
In many cases, patients see an implant dentist for the implant post and abutment placement and their regular dentist for the final crown restoration. However, there are some dentists, such as Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD, who has the unique qualification to both place and restore your dental implants.