If you are missing one or more of your natural teeth and you have been investigating your options for tooth replacement, you may already know a little something about dental implants. In fact, you may know that dental implants offer the best available method for securing dental restorations, including crowns, bridges, and even full sets of dentures. You might also be aware of the criteria for candidacy, how dental implants stack up against alternative techniques for replacing natural teeth, and what you can expect from dental implant surgery.
What might not be clear at this point, however, is what exactly dental implants are.
At Artistic Expressions Dentistry, patient education is at the core of everything we do. We believe that patients should be provided with all of the education they need to make informed, confident decisions about their oral health care. This is why Dr. Bruce Wilderman explains the anatomy of a dental implant in detail during consultations at his Philadelphia, PA cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry practice before patients commit to undergoing implant dentistry procedures.
One of the reasons that dental implants are so effective is that they are beautiful and elegant in their simplicity, much like natural teeth. We invite you to read about the anatomy of these exquisite restorations and then schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Bruce Wilderman to determine whether dental implants are right for you.
Dental Implant Anatomy 101
Although many resources make dental implants seem quite complicated, and much complex thought goes into the planning stage of dental implant surgery, the dental implant system itself comprises just three basic parts:
- The implant post: This post, which is shaped like a tiny screw, is the actual dental implant. Composed either of pure titanium or a titanium alloy, the implant post is basically an artificial tooth root that is surgically placed into the jawbone. Because the human body cannot distinguish between a titanium post and an actual tooth root, it accepts the implant post as part of the patient’s natural anatomy. As a result, the jaw bone and the implant post fuse together through a process called osseointegration, which usually takes between four and six months. At the end of the process, the implant post is able to provide support of exceptional strength and stability for replacement teeth.
- The abutment: Once the jawbone has integrated with the implant, an incision is made in the gum to reveal the titanium post. Unless the implant placed is a single-piece implant that already includes an abutment, an abutment will be screwed onto the top of the exposed post. The abutment serves to connect the replacement tooth to the implant post at the gum line.
- The restoration: Depending on how many teeth are missing, dental implants may be used to secure single crowns, dental bridges, or even full-arch dentures. The restoration may either be cemented or screwed onto the abutment, depending on its design. Some dentures may also be snapped onto the abutments.
Learn More about the Anatomy of Dental Implants
To learn more about the anatomy of a dental implant, please contact Artistic Expressions Dentistry today.