From Implant to Restoration: Understanding the Three Parts of Dental Implants for a Perfect Smile

parts of dental implant

Have you lost a tooth or two and are looking for a solution that offers both functionality and aesthetic appeal? Dental implants are an increasingly popular solution for people who want to restore their smiles and improve their quality of life.

Unlike dentures or bridges, dental implants are a permanent solution that provides a natural-looking and functioning replacement tooth. The three main parts of dental implants are the implant, the abutment, and the crown. Each part plays a crucial role in creating a successful dental implant. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at each of these parts and explain how they work together to create a natural-looking and functional replacement tooth.

So, if you’re considering dental implants for yourself or simply curious about this innovative dental procedure, keep reading for a detailed overview of the three parts of dental implants and what you can expect during the implant process.

parts of dental implant

Part 1: The Dental Implant

Each dental implant mirrors a natural tooth root. Although there are three parts of a dental implant, the implant posts are the portion that everyone thinks about. And rightly so. They will support the fixed implant prosthesis and are the portion submerged below the gum line within the bone. These “artificial teeth” only make up the artificial tooth root portion of your smile restoration. There are still two more parts you will need.

Advanced computer-guided surgery allows dental implants to be installed in an efficient, comfortable manner. Once submerged inside the bone, integration fuses the surrounding bone structure with the ribbed surface of the titanium dental implant. This osseointegration process is what holds the implant prosthesis permanently within your mouth. An integrated implant system has a 98-99% success rate, giving it a reliable treatment outcome that far surpasses conventional dentures, bridges, or other common restorations.

Planning for your implant post installation is the most important step in restoring your smile. The larger diameter needs to fit nicely alongside any natural tooth root in that space. And although this procedure only requires a single appointment, placing multiple implant posts can be complex and detailed. Some individuals prefer to have our Camas dentist use sedation so that they can sleep through the longer appointment.

After each implant post is installed, we will suture the gums closed above the actual post, giving your mouth and jawbone time to heal/integrate around it. This will ensure the fixture fuses with the surrounding bone without unnecessary disruption. 

Part 2: The Abutment

There is one part of a dental implant post that only some people know about: the abutment. Implant abutments screw into the narrow diameter implant opening at the very top of the implant post. They then extend above the gumline, providing an attachment surface for the dental crown, bridge, implant-supported dentures, or full arch implants that will later be installed on top of them.

An implant abutment is dependent upon the implant underneath and vice versa. You cannot restore dental implant posts without these special attachments. A conventional dental implant post stays embedded within the gum tissue as the bone integrates with it. It isn’t until about three months later when the abutment is screwed into the implant post, that it can finally support the weight from biting or chewing.

Implant abutments look like a tiny tooth sticking out of the gum tissues. But they are small and metal-colored, so they only serve as the anchor. As each abutment requires a restoration, we still need to attach dental crowns or dental bridges on top of them. 

Our implant dentist Dr. Bharathi will gently numb the gum tissues above your integrated implant post to install implant abutments. Then we will uncover the top of the implant so that the fitting surface is fully exposed. Next, we make sure the different diameters of the abutment correspond to the small hole in the top of the implant’s main components and then torque it into place.

Part 3: The Restoration

Now for the part of your implant that looks like a natural tooth. As we restore teeth, we want to anchor a restoration that blends in with the surrounding teeth, regardless of how many natural teeth are missing. 

Your tooth replacement options that attach on top of an implant post can include a crown, bridge, removable overdenture (snap-on dentures), or a fixed All-on-4 type of appliance.

Your implant restoration is essentially the functional and visible portion of your implant restoration. Depending on how many teeth are missing, our implant dentist will adjust the restoration (false teeth) to fill in your smile.

The restoration will be attached on top of the abutment extending from the implant post. It doesn’t attach to the implant posts themselves. And although each one is a false tooth, our Camas implant dentist will have them crafted in a way that yours looks attractive, feels comfortable, and has a natural appearance to them.

As few as 4-6 implants can support dentures that are permanently anchored in place across the entire arch. In comparison, single implant posts will correspond to a single-tooth dental crown. The huge range of options means we can curate your plan to exactly what your smile needs.

Exceptions to the Rule

Occasionally you’ll see ceramic dental implant designs or single-component dental implants (like mini dental implants) that have a built-in abutment, where the implant and abutment are essentially one unit. But even then, there is a separate portion for the fixed restoration on top of the implant, depending on which tooth is being replaced and how many teeth are being restored. These implant designs are less common, but a specialist may use them in specific scenarios for patients who fit unique criteria.

Mini dental implants tend to eliminate the need for an abutment since the crown can be attached on top of them directly. There is no temporary restoration, and they’re normally installed during a short surgical procedure. However, these smaller teeth are not able to withstand heavy biting loads, so they are not used when we are replacing larger teeth in the mouth.

How the Three Parts Work Together

Now that you know the three parts of dental implants and how they work together to create a natural-looking and functional replacement tooth, let’s take a moment to recap.

The implant is like the foundation of the implant, and it’s placed directly into the jawbone. Over time, the bone fuses with the implant, which provides a sturdy and stable foundation for the abutment and crown. The abutment is like a connector between the implant and crown, and it’s essential that it’s placed correctly to ensure the crown fits well and functions like a natural tooth.

It’s crucial to make sure that each part of the dental implant is placed and fitted correctly. If not, the implant may not fuse with the bone properly, leading to implant failure. If the abutment is not positioned correctly, it may cause the crown to be misaligned, affecting the bite and causing discomfort.

However, if placed and fitted correctly, dental implants offer many benefits. They improve your chewing and speech abilities, improve your facial appearance, and increase your self-confidence. They also prevent bone loss in the jaw and can last a lifetime with proper care. By working together, the three parts of the dental implant provide a long-lasting and natural-looking tooth replacement option.

Consulting with a Qualified Dentist for Dental Implants

No doubt, dental implants are a popular and effective solution for people who have lost one or more teeth and want to restore their smiles and improve their quality of life.

While dental implants offer many benefits, they may not be the right choice for everyone. It’s essential to consult with a qualified and experienced dentist like Dr. Bharathi to determine if they are the right choice for you. By doing so, you can ensure that each part of the implant is correctly placed and fitted, so you can enjoy all the benefits of dental implants for years to come. 

Your dentist can help you understand the process and what to expect during the implant procedure, including the recovery period and how to care for your implants after they have been placed.

So, if you’re considering dental implants, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with a qualified dentist to learn more about the process and determine if it’s the right choice for you. 

A dental professional can also provide more information about the potential benefits and drawbacks of dental implants, as well as give you an idea of the cost and whether insurance can help cover the cost. 

By educating yourself and making an informed decision, you can feel confident in your choice and enjoy the many benefits of dental implants.

Get Dental Implants in Camas, WA

At Radiance Dental, our dental implants are tailored to the unique needs of your smile. Each implant post is installed at a specific point, with a corresponding implant abutment and a personalized restoration on top of them. The end result is a permanent tooth replacement that you can feel confident about eating and smiling in the years ahead.

If you’re considering dental implants, reserve a consultation with our leading specialists in Camas today. 

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