Last Updated on April 27, 2023

Dental implants are an effective and popular solution for replacing missing teeth. In traditional dental implant procedures, the implant is made up of three main parts: the post, the abutment, and the crown. 

Understanding each of these parts is crucial for patients considering dental implants, as it can help you make an informed decision and understand the treatment process and why fewer parts may be the better option. 

In this article, we will explore each of these parts in detail. Then, we’ll dive into the differences with our process and parts over traditional implants.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Dental implants have become an increasingly popular solution for those who have lost their teeth due to injury, decay, or other reasons. They offer a lasting and natural-looking replacement that can improve oral health and quality of life. Understanding the parts of a dental implant and how they work is essential for anyone considering this treatment option.

Parts of Dental Implants

There are three main parts of a dental implant: the post, the abutment, and the crown. In most instances, there is a fourth part, which is the micro screw that holds the pieces together.

The Post

The post, also known as the implant, is the part that is surgically placed into the jawbone. It is typically made of titanium or titanium alloy and is designed to fuse with the bone over time through a process called osseointegration. This process allows the implant to become firmly anchored in the jawbone and provides a stable foundation for the replacement tooth.

The Abutment

The abutment is the connector that attaches the implant to the crown. It is typically made of titanium, zirconia or other materials. The abutment is placed on top of the post once the osseointegration process is complete. It is then used to attach the crown or other replacement tooth structure to the implant.

The Crown

The crown is the visible part of the dental implant that looks like a natural tooth. It is typically made of porcelain or zirconia (both are a type of ceramic), although it can also be made of other materials. The crown is custom-designed to match the shape, size, and color of the surrounding teeth, making it virtually indistinguishable from the natural teeth around it.

The Dental Implant Procedure

The traditional dental implant procedure involves several steps. First, the implant post is surgically placed into the jawbone. This is followed by a healing period of several months, during which time the post fuses with the bone. Once the osseointegration process is complete, the abutment is attached to the post, and the crown or other replacement tooth is attached to the abutment.

Why Our Dental Implants Are Different

At The Dental Implant Place, we use only one-piece implants. 

Why is this important?

A one-piece implant is a single unit that does not use an abutment. It is also designed to be larger than the hole prepared for it, much like a wood screw that goes into wood, giving it immediate retention with the bone it’s placed in. This type of implant is skillfully inserted into the jawbone using gentle rotation and following the bone structure of the mouth. We typically put a temporary tooth structure on top of the implant until the implant has integrated with the bone.  This usually takes between 6 to 14 weeks, depending on your oral health and whether or not you had a tooth extracted at the time. The crown is then attached to the implant using cement.

One of the main advantages of a one-piece dental implant is that it eliminates the need for a separate abutment. This can simplify the treatment process and reduce the risk of complications such as implant failure or infection. One-piece implants also tend to be more stable and less likely to loosen or shift over time.

A traditional three-piece dental implant, also known as a two-stage implant, is comprised of the three separate parts we talked about above: the post, the abutment, and the crown (and four parts if you count the screw). Three-piece implants can also be more complicated and time-consuming to place. They may require additional surgical procedures and a longer healing period. There is also a higher risk of complications such as infection or implant failure.

Choosing the right dental implant is essential for a successful treatment outcome. Factors that need to be considered include the size and shape of the jawbone, the number and location of missing teeth, and the patient's overall oral health. An experienced dentist or oral surgeon can help you determine which type of implant is best suited for your individual needs.

Conclusion

Dental implants are a popular and effective solution for replacing missing teeth. Understanding the parts of a dental implant and how they work can help you make an informed decision and achieve a successful treatment outcome. 

By choosing an experienced and qualified dentist or oral surgeon, following proper aftercare instructions, and maintaining good oral hygiene, you can enjoy the benefits of dental implants for many years to come.

FAQs

How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants can last for many years with proper care and maintenance. Some patients have had their implants for 20 years or more.

Is the dental implant procedure painful?

The dental implant procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia and is not painful. However, patients may experience some discomfort or soreness after the procedure.

Can dental implants be used to replace multiple missing teeth?

Yes, dental implants can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. In some cases, a bridge or denture may be attached to multiple implants for added stability.

What are the advantages of dental implants over dentures?

Dental implants offer several advantages over dentures, including better stability, improved oral function, and a more natural appearance.

Are dental implants covered by insurance?

Dental implant coverage varies by insurance plan. Patients should check with their insurance provider to determine their coverage options.

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dr Steve Brown, dr brown dentist

Dr. Steve Brown is the Founder and Lead Dentist of The Dental Implant Place. He has practiced implant dentistry for over 20 years and has placed over 12,000 dental implants. He enjoys Baylor football and time with his wife, children, and two dogs.

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