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Dentist showing x-ray reports to patient

Do You Need to Get a Tooth Replaced?

If you do, then maybe a dental implant is the way to go. With dental implants, the replacement tooth is just as good as the original.

An important part of a dental implant is the abutment. When choosing the treatment plan and aesthetics for your dental implant, the abutment will be a determining factor. Here is what you need to know about dental implants and abutments.

What Is an Abutment?

It is one of three parts of a dental implant. The innermost part of a dental implant is a titanium rod or screw attached to your jaw. It acts as the root of the implant. The outermost part of an implant is the crown, and it looks just like a tooth.

The abutment is the part of the implant that connects the artificial root to the artificial crown. Common abutment materials are titanium, gold or zirconium. Zirconium abutments are popular because they are the same color as teeth.

When Is an Abutment Installed?

Usually, the abutment attaches to the artificial root after the jawbone has healed and united with said root. Dentists reopen the gum and fit the abutment. The gum is then allowed to heal and grow around the abutment.

Now, why would anyone endure an additional surgery instead of having the implant and abutment installed at the same time? The abutment sticks out above the gum line, and some people do not like that. An abutment can be fitted immediately after the insertion of the titanium rod into the jawbone, as is done in the case of a healing abutment.

What Is a Healing Abutment?

Sometimes called a healing cuff, it is a temporary, wider-than-usual abutment that has the shape and dimensions of the base of a tooth. It is fitted immediately after the artificial root is placed in the jaw. Its shape encourages the gum to grow as if a tooth was in place. After the ‘root’ fuses with the bone, the healing abutment is removed and replaced with a permanent one.

That Makes Two Abutment Fittings. Why Would Anyone Want That?

People want this process to eliminate the need for a second surgery and to shape the gum more naturally. It also simplifies the process of placing a permanent abutment. Dentists remove the healing abutment and replace it with a permanent one.

With a healing abutment, there is no need to open the gum to access the artificial root. Removing the healing abutment exposes the base, allowing for the attachment of the permanent abutment.

How Is the Crown Fitted Onto the Permanent Abutment?

A particularly strong type of dental cement attaches to the crown as well as the abutment. The crown is then placed over the abutment, effectively encasing it. The dental cement fuses the crown and abutment for the rest of the time.

Does It Hurt?

Not really, especially not during the fitting of the crown onto the abutment. However, even the process of placing the dental implant in the bone requires anesthesia. After the procedure, prescription or over the counter medication is typically recommended to deal with any discomfort.

So, Should You Get an Implant?

If your dentist says you can, then go for it. It is the most durable, convenient and comfortable tooth replacement treatment there is. It is well worth the time and multiple dental visits.

Let’s Get Started!

For more information or to schedule an appointment with Beltran Dental Surgery, request an appointment in our Temple Terrace dental office here: Or call us at 813-373-4573.