Dental implants have been used for decades now. They are well known for providing a permanent and natural-looking smile. Dental implants are used to replace one or multiple missing teeth in the jaw.
Dental implants are advanced technology that is made from titanium posts. They usually resemble a tooth in structure and function. Typically three main parts of dental implant anchor in the jaw bone and provide support for a restorative prosthesis such as a dental crown, bridge, and overdenture.
The three main components of dental implants consist of the implant post that integrated with the surrounding jaw bone. The abutment that connects the implant post with the dental restoration. The third part is the dental restoration such as a dental crown, bridge, or denture.
Placement of dental implants is usually a surgical procedure, and the healing period takes around 3-6 months. However, successful implants can last for more than 10-20 years. Today’s article will highlight the different parts of a dental implant. Furthermore, we will look at the healing of the implant.
A dental implant, also known as an endo-osseous fixture, is primarily a surgical component that is placed in the jaw bone to support a dental prosthesis and replace the missing tooth in the mouth. The basis of implant placement is a biological process called Osseointegration that is an interface build between the titanium implant and the surrounding jaw bone. (1)
Usually, the success or failure of the implant depends on the health of the person and maintenance of the implant post-treatment. Specialists place most implants. However, general dentists who have been trained in implant treatments can also place implants successfully.
What are the parts of a dental implant?
Typically, the main components of a dental implant consist of –
The implant fixture is one of the essential components of the entire prosthesis. It is usually made from titanium and resembles a screw. The fixture is surgically placed in the jaw bone. It is often referred to as the implant body. (2) Typically, the implant fixture consists of three different parts namely –
- Body – it is the cylindrical or tapered structure. Usually, the body can be smooth or threaded and consists of small holes or vents that allow the bone to grow through it during Osseointegration. The threaded part of the body also maximizes the contact of the implant with the bone, which helps in equal dissipation of the biting force. (3)
- Crest module – this is a part of the implant fixture, which provides a connection between the abutment and the implant. The crest module typically offers resistance to the occlusal load. Moreover, its anti-rotation feature gives a precise fitting for the abutment on the implant fixture.
- Collar – it is the most superior part of the implant that comes in different sizes depending on the type of implant. Usually, for submerged implants, the height of the collar is around 0.5 – 1mm. on the other hand, for non-submerged implants, it is often 3-5 mm big. (4)
Some of the critical functions of the collar include improvement of the abutment and fixture interface, prevents exposure of surface coatings, and allows functional remodeling of the bone.
The abutment is the second most crucial part of an implant. The abutment is usually placed on the implant body with the help of the crest module and collar. The prime function of the abutment is to support the prosthesis and maintain the success of the implant.
Usually, the abutments are shaped like a conventional crown with smooth and polished walls to accept cement-retained restorations. However, the choice of abutment size and shape depends on several factors such as –
- The vertical distance between the fixture and the opposing dentition
- The sulcular depth of the gum
- Esthetic requirements of the patient. (5)
Typically, the abutment can be made from titanium and zirconia.
The implant superstructure is a part of the prosthesis that supports the dental implant. The superstructure can be of the following types –
- Fixed prosthesis – crown and bridge
- Removable prosthesis – overdenture
- Fixed detachable prosthesis – hybrid denture
The type of prosthesis usually depends on the patient’s need and the number of missing teeth in the mouth. A crown can do single tooth replacements. Multiple missing teeth are generally replaced by overdentures, bridges, or hybrid dentures. (6)
How long does it take for implant treatment?
Typically, an implant can be placed immediately after tooth extraction. It usually takes one to two hours for the placement of an implant. After the surgery, the implant is allowed to heal for 3-6 months. During the healing time, the bone grew over the implant surface and strengthens the prosthesis. This process is termed as Osseo-integration.
Some patients experience mild pain and swelling post-surgery. However, it can be managed by prescribed medications and cold compressions. (7)
The dentist takes a follow-up after three months to see the success of the implant. Once the implant is fixed into the jaw, the dentist plans for the therapeutic part of the treatment.
Take away message
Dental implants are the new and advanced way of replacing missing teeth in the mouth. Moreover, they provide quality and long-lasting smile to the patient.
Usually, a dental implant consists of three main components, namely the implant fixture, which gets incorporated into the jaw bone and acts as an anchor for the other parts. The abutments form a connection between the implant body and the dental prosthesis.
The third part of the implant is the restorative dental prosthesis that consists of a dental crown, bridge, or denture. The type of dental prosthesis depends on the number of teeth that are to be replaced. If you are looking to get an implant, ask your dentists for more details about the type and parts of the implant.