When considering a replacement option for missing teeth, it is understandable to want to know as much as possible about fixtures that will go into your mouth. Dental implants are a permanent solution for tooth replacement, but what are they made of? Dr. Scott Finlay, a dentist in Arnold, MD with Annapolis Smiles, describes the three parts of a dental implant: the implant, the abutment, and the prosthesis.
What is an implant?
The first part of a dental implant is the implant itself. After a consultation with your dentist and any necessary dental work, the implant is surgically placed into the jawbone. The implant itself is a post made of titanium that acts as an artificial root to provide a stable foundation for the prosthesis.
What is an abutment?
The abutment is the next part of a dental implant and is added immediately following the successful surgical placement of the implant. The abutment is made of titanium too, just like the implant. It screws into the top of the implant to provide further support for the prosthesis. A temporary crown may be added at this step to allow the mouth and jaw to heal following the surgical procedure.
What is a prosthesis?
The prosthesis is the final part of the dental implant procedure. It features a crown or other fixture, such as a denture, based on an impression taken of the patient’s mouth following the implant surgery. The fixture is customized by color, size, and shape to fit each patient’s unique smile. It is made from material compatible with the human body and can be treated and cared for as a normal tooth once the procedure is complete. This prosthesis is fitted after a healing period of three to six months. This allows the implant to fuse to the jawbone over time.
How can an implant help me?
A dental implant can be a permanent tooth replacement treatment when accompanied by good oral hygiene habits. Implants can provide many benefits to patients, including:
- Improved oral functions, such as eating and speaking
- Restored bone loss in the jaw
- Reduced tooth damage from an imbalanced bite
- Enhanced smile appearance
There are several tooth replacement options to consider when discussing a treatment plan with your dental professional. Dental implants are a long-lasting, valuable choice worth exploring at your next dentist appointment. With foundational knowledge of the procedure, you can be more confident about finding a treatment that works best for you.
Learn more from Annapolis Smiles
If you are interested in dental implants as a treatment option, contact Dr. Finlay at Annapolis Smiles, located in Arnold, MD and serving the greater Annapolis area, to see if you would be a good candidate for this procedure. Annapolis Smiles specializes in general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. You can schedule an appointment online or reach our office by phone at 410.989.7132.