If you’re thinking about getting a dental implant, you’ve probably heard some of the lingo both patients and doctors use when talking about placing and restoring dental implants. “Guided” versus “non-guided implants” and “immediate” versus “healed site placement” are some of the more common ones but the field of implantology is sprawling so there are a lot of terms you may have only encountered once or twice.
While you don’t need to be an expert on dental implants to get one (that’s the doctor’s job), it’s always a good idea to be familiar with the procedure before undergoing it. Knowing what can make a dental implant procedure successful or unsuccessful is vital knowledge if you’re still in the process of finding the right provider for you.
At Stanley Dentistry, we strive to give our patients as much information pre-procedure as possible. Everyone deserves to know all of the risks, benefits, and possible outcomes of surgery. We’ve also found that, oftentimes, patients who know more about a procedure are less likely to be scared of it. Understanding something is always a good way to remove unfounded fear and doubts.
We’ve talked about dental implants a lot on our blog, but we haven’t fully explained the different parts of the dental implant and why they’re important. There are really three parts of a dental implant: the implant itself, the crown (or the “tooth”), and the abutment. Chances are, you already know what the implant does (creates stability for the crown), but you may not know what an abutment is.
In dentistry, an abutment is a connecting element of some kind. The word comes from the verb “abut“, meaning to “touch by means of a mutual border”. When talking about dental implants, the abutment is a screw-like prosthetic that connects the crown to the implant. The abutment adds more stability to the implant. It also makes the implant more aesthetically pleasing, and just generally creates better chances of post-surgery success for the patient.
In uncommon situations (when getting dental implants abroad, for example), a doctor may forgo using quality abutments. They may also neglect to use an abutment at all. This will almost certainly guarantee implant failure. Please talk with your doctor before surgery to ensure that s/he is using the best products and the best system on the market. If you have your doubts, do some more research. Chances are, there is another, more qualified dental implant provider in your area. Even if another doctor is more expensive, in the end, you will save money from not having to deal with the extensive complications related to a failed implant.