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.
The implant fixture is the part of the dental implant that is surgically placed into the jaw bone and replaces the missing teeth roots. It resembles a screw and is typically made of titanium, a type of metal known to be well accepted by the human body. 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 can be used. A standard dental implant is about 3.4 mm to 4.2 mm in diameter. These are usually used in the front/middle part of the jaw because they are skinnier. A wide platform implant is primarily placed in the back of the mouth, 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. The first is when the implant is placed in the jaw bone and the gums are sutured shut to fully cover it during the healing period. During the second surgery, a small incision will expose the top of the fixture and an abutment is attached.
As dental implant technology progresses, the single-stage method is becoming more popular. It provides shorter treatment time since only one surgery is needed. The implant is surgically placed in the jaw bone and a healing abutment is attached that is left exposed during the healing period. A second surgery is not necessary and the abutment and restoration can be attached as soon as the implant as healed and integrated with the jaw bone. A zirconia ceramic fixture is considered a single-staged implant.
An abutment is a tiny metal piece that is connected on to the implant post after it is fully healed. It typically takes about three to six months for the fixture to heal and fuse with the jaw bone. After that, another minor surgery is needed to uncover the implant and an abutment will be screwed or cemented to the fixture. Sometimes a healing abutment is placed on the implant and a second surgery is not necessary. Here, the healing abutment will be replaced with a permanent one. The abutment will sit right at the gum line and will support the dental prosthesis. A zirconia ceramic is one piece meaning the post and abutment are connected and is considered a single-stage implant.
The prosthesis is the last part to be connected by Dr. Patel or Dr. Fountain at our Claremont, CA dental institute. This is the part that will resemble and function like a natural tooth or teeth. They 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 a dental crown will be used. 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 offer dental restorations that are color matched to blend seamlessly with your natural teeth.