Implant Post, Abutments, Prosthesis
Usually, conventional dental implants have a three-piece design. The three components are the implant post or screw, the abutment that attaches to the implant post, and the prosthesis or tooth restoration, which could be a crown, bridge, or denture.
Dental implants with three main components have been widely used for decades and are tried and tested, providing a reliable treatment outcome.
The Implant Post
The implant post or screw is inserted into the jawbone during a short surgical procedure using advanced computer guided surgery. The actual post looks a little like a natural tooth root, which is precisely the way it’s designed, so if you see an implant post, you may notice its end is tapered just like a real tooth root.
Dental implant posts are available in a huge variety of different diameters, ensuring Dr. Leonard Umanoff can choose the most appropriate diameter for the tooth requiring restoration.
For example, a larger diameter is more suitable for larger teeth, such as a molar, while a narrow diameter implant is more suited for smaller teeth such as incisors. The length of dental implant posts also varies according to the size and location of the tooth to be replaced.
An implant post may be up to 18 mm in length, and for example, mini dental implants tend to have longer posts for greater strength and stability. A conventional dental implant post is hollow so that the abutment can be screwed onto the post.
A three-piece implant design allows the implant posts to be covered up for osseointegration, so it isn’t necessarily restored immediately with the prosthesis. Instead, the abutment is attached later when the implant dentist is ready to fabricate and fit the implant prosthesis.
There is a huge range of implant abutments dependent on the implant system used to restore teeth. For example, implant abutments that secure implant crowns and bridges are very different compared to abutments used to support dentures. An implant abutment used to secure a crown or bridge looks a little like a tiny tooth stuck, protruding above the gum line.
Abutments used to support a denture are very different, as the denture implants can have special attachments on its fitting surface and which clip onto the abutments, or the abutments are used to support a bar. The denture then clips directly onto the bar.
An implant prosthesis can be a crown, bridge, or implant supported denture. Single dental implants restore dental crowns, whereas multiple implants can restore dental bridges, or may be used to support a denture. Crowns and bridges are fixed permanently in place and are only removable by an implant dentist.
Implant dentures are removable so they can be taken out for regular cleaning and maintenance.
While in the mouth, implant dentures are held securely in place and are much stronger and stable compared with conventional dentures that rest on the gums.
Most implants consist of three components, but some are two-piece units. These dental implants are fabricated so that the implant post and abutment are a single unit. The implant prosthesis will fit directly onto the implants.
Mini dental implants are frequently designed as two-piece units, so the abutment protrudes above the gum immediately after insertion. Zirconia dental implants are also frequently designed as a two-piece unit, although they are also available as a three-piece unit.