Dental implants typically have three components that help make them feel, function, and look like natural teeth. Claremont Dental Institute located in Claremont, CA offers many types of dental implants for patients missing one, multiple, or all of their teeth. Dr. Vijay Patel and Dr. Steve Fountain have advanced training in implant dentistry. They use the latest techniques, technology, and material to ensure implant success for every patient.
3 Parts of a Dental Implant Restoration
Dental implants typically have 3 separate parts; the implant post, the abutment, and the prosthesis. Learning about these parts will help you understand what implants are and how they work.
Implant Post or Fixture
The implant post fixture is the part of the dental implant that we surgically place into the jaw bone. This titanium post replaces the missing teeth roots. It is titanium because the human body accepts this type of metal. A titanium fixture is very light yet durable enough to support a dental prosthesis.
During a process called osseointegration, the bone cells attach to the fixture creating a strong bond. Claremont Dental Institute also offers implants made of zirconia ceramic. This is a great option for someone with a metal allergy or translucent or receding gums. A zirconia ceramic fixture is all white and just as durable as a titanium fixture.
There are many different sizes of fixtures that we can use. A standard dental implant is about 3.4 mm to 4.2 mm in diameter. We use them on the front/middle part of the jaw because they are skinnier. The back of the mouth primarily uses a wide platform implant, on either side of the jaw. They range from 4.5 mm to 6 mm in diameter.
There are also different methods for placing the implant fixtures. A two-stage implant will require two surgeries. First we place the implant in the jaw bone and suture the gums shut to fully cover it during the healing period. During the second surgery, a small incision will expose the top of the fixture so we can attach an abutment.
As dental implant technology progresses, the single-stage method is becoming more popular. It provides shorter treatment time since there is only one surgery appointment. During this appointment, we surgically place the dental implant and attach the abutment at the same time.
A second surgery is not necessary because we attach the abutment and restoration as soon as the implant area heals and integrates with the jaw bone. A zirconia ceramic fixture is a single-staged implant.
An abutment is a tiny metal piece that we connect to the implant post. It typically takes about three to six months for the fixture to heal and fuse with the jaw bone. After that, we need another minor surgery to uncover the implant and screw or cement the abutment to the fixture. Sometimes we place a healing abutment on the implant so a second surgery is not necessary.
Here, we will replace the healing abutment with a permanent one. The abutment will sit right at the gum line and will support the dental prosthesis. A zirconia ceramic restoration is one piece, meaning the post and abutment is a single piece.
The prosthesis is the last part that Dr. Patel or Dr. Fountain connects at our Claremont, CA dental institute. This is the part that will resemble and function like a natural tooth or teeth. The type of prosthesis you will need depends on the location and number of missing teeth you have.
If you are only missing one tooth, then we will use a dental crown. For multiple missing teeth, your dentist will restore them with a dental bridge or partial denture. If you are missing all of your teeth, your dentist will restore them with a custom made denture. We provide color-match dental restorations that blend seamlessly with your natural teeth.