Dr. Uttma Dham is a highly educated dental implant dentist in Plantation, FL. Her team at Westside Dental Center, which includes periodontist Dr. Darren Pike, offers complete dental implant services under one roof. Dental implants are the number one solution for the replacement of missing or damaged teeth. To understand why, it is important to learn what they are and how they work.
Parts of a Dental Implant
Dental implants are typically made up of 3 separate parts: the implant post, the abutment, and the dental prosthesis. Below, you will learn about these parts to help you understand what implants are and how they work.
The implant post is the most vital part of the dental implant restoration. It is what sets this advanced missing teeth solution apart from the other options. An implant is a metal post that looks like a screw with threads. Most implants are made of titanium but they do come in other materials. They are very light weight yet very durable. They come in a variety of shapes, diameters and lengths to accommodate different locations along the upper and lower arch.
Dental implants have to be surgically implanted into the jaw bone to properly support a dental prosthesis. This can be done in one or two stages. A one stage dental implant is when the healing cap (the abutment) is immediately attached after the implant is implanted. A two stage implant involves the implant being implanted during a surgery and the incision is closed up. To place the abutment, a second surgery is necessary.
The abutment is simply a small connector piece that is typically made of metal. It will sit right at the gum line and aid in securing the dental prosthesis. With a two stage dental implant, the abutment is attached after the implant has fully fused with the surrounding bone. It will be connected during a simple procedure at our Plantation, FL dentist office where the gums are opened back up. It will be secured to the implant with a small screw or it will be cemented to the implant.
Sometimes the abutment is placed immediately when the implants are surgically placed in the jaw. This is sometimes called a healing cap and is used with one stage dental implants. A second procedure will not be necessary. When your permanent prosthesis is ready to be attached, your dentist will remove the healing abutment and replace it with a permanent one.
The prosthesis is the part of the dental implant that will replace the crown portion of the tooth. With all the advances in dental technology, your new teeth will look, feel and function just like real teeth. Dr. Dham will determine the type of prosthesis you will based on the location and number of missing teeth you have. An implant supported dental crown will be secured if you are only missing one tooth. An implant supported dental bridge will be secured if you are missing several consecutive teeth. If you are missing several nonconsecutive teeth and just need to fill in those gaps, Dr. Dham will secure a partial denture. For patients missing all of their teeth, a full denture will be secured.