The Anatomy of a Dental Implant

The anatomy of a dental implantWhen you're missing a tooth or multiple teeth, this can lead to a number of problems that impact the appearance of your smile and your overall dental health. While removable dental appliances are a common solution for tooth loss, more and more people are turning to dental implants to support crowns, bridges, and dentures.

The team at our Wilmington dental care center would like to cover the basics of dental implants. In particular, we want to consider the basic structure and anatomy of a dental implant so you have a better understanding of how they work.

About Dental Implants

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically implanted into the jawbone and gum tissue. After fully fusing with the bone structure of the jaw (a process known as osseointegration), dental implants are able to support an individual dental crown, a dental bridge, a partial denture, or a full denture.

The most well-known types of dental implants are known as endosteal dental implants. These consist of three basic parts:

  • The implant post
  • The abutment
  • The dental restoration or appliance

Let's cover each of these in greater detail below.

The Implant Post

The implant post is what most people think of when they hear the term dental implant. Shaped like a screw, the implant post is anchored directly into the jawbone during oral surgery. The implant post is made of titanium, allowing it to merge with the bone structure and form a bond comparable to a natural tooth root.

The Implant Abutment

The abutment can be thought of as the connecting portion of the dental implant. This part of the dental implant is fixed onto the top of the exposed implant post. The abutment joins the final dental appliance to the implant post.

Abutments can be made of different materials. The ideal abutment material for a patient can be discussed in more detail during the consultation process.

The Restoration/Appliance

The restoration or appliance refers to the false tooth or set of false teeth that will be supported by the dental implant. This is often a crown for individual tooth replacement, a bridge for people missing a few teeth, and a denture for patients who are missing many or all of their teeth.

Dental restorations and appliances are carefully crafted at a dental lab. Technicians will use dental records, x-rays, and dental impressions in order to craft the final appliance. The ideal is to make the appliance look natural and fully functional, just like an actual tooth or set of teeth.

A Word on Subperiosteal Dental Implants

Subperiosteal dental implants are dental implants that are placed below the gum tissue but above the jawbone. Rather than using an implant post, a superiosteal dental implant has a frame that rests and braces on top of the jawbone, eventually fusing with the bone structure. The abutments will attach to this frame and support the final dental appliance.

Are Dental Implants Right for Me?

The best way to find out if dental implants are right for you is to visit our practice for a consultation. During your visit, we will answer all of your questions and address all of your concerns about the treatment process. We can also discuss payment and financing options to put implant dentistry treatments within your grasp.

Contact the Team at Smile Solutions by Emmi Dental Associates

For more information about dental implants and whether or not they are right for you, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at Smile Solutions by Emmi Dental Associates will help you have a healthy and beautiful smile.