What Makes Up a Dental Implant?
If you are thinking about getting a dental implant, you may be wondering what one is made of. How do dental implants mimic a natural tooth so effectively?
For such a life-changing technology, dental implants have a relatively simple structure. Each dental implant consists of 3 basic parts: an implant, an implant abutment, and a dental prosthesis. Amazingly, these 3 parts enable the dental implant to simulate the function and aesthetic effect of your natural tooth for a permanent solution to tooth loss.
Find out if you’re a good candidate for dental
implants in the Complete Guide to Dental Implants.
The 3 Parts of Dental Implants
1) The Implant
While the entire replacement tooth is often referred to as the implant, the implant is actually the part that is anchored to your jawbone. Sometimes the implant is called a fixture. Resembling a tapered screw, this part acts like the root, stabilizing the tooth and ensuring its permanence.
The implant is made of titanium, either in a commercially pure form or in an alloy. Using an alloy may make the implant stronger and more resistant to fracture. Commercially pure titanium resists corrosion, and many dental surgeons report that it rarely fractures.
The surface of the implant may be grit-blasted, which increases the amount of surface area and helps strengthen the fusion between the implant and the jawbone. Sometimes the implant is coated with material that encourages jawbone-regeneration, accelerating the fusion process between the metal implant and the bone.
By fusing with the jawbone, the implant simulates the way a hidden root anchors the natural tooth in place. Fibers hold the gum tissue to the tooth. Further down the root, fibers hold the tooth to the jawbone, stabilizing it.
2) The Implant Abutment
This cylindrical part connects the implant with the replacement tooth. After the process of bone fusion has been completed, the abutment is screwed into the implant, giving the new crown a place to be attached.
The abutment can be made of titanium or ceramic and is hidden from view once the crown is in place. The main function of the abutment is to ensure a snug fit between the implant and the crown.
3) The Dental Prosthesis
The dental prosthesis is the visible part of the dental implant. It mimics the crown of the natural tooth in appearance and function. Like the natural crown, the dental prosthesis appears above the gumline and provides a surface for chewing.
The surface of the dental prosthesis resembles natural tooth enamel, but it is constructed of either porcelain or metal (usually gold). It can be attached to the abutment with a screw or with a powerful cement. The size and shape of the crown is designed to match the missing tooth.
Once the crown is in place, your smile is complete. No one will even know that you were missing a tooth. Not only does your dental implant look like a natural tooth, but it functions like one too. Now, you can eat the crunchy and chewy foods you love and speak with confidence.
If you have further questions about dental implant parts and procedures, the experts at Cumberland Surgical Arts are here to assist you.
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