Marin County Dentist Describes the Dental Implant Fixture

Written by Dr. McConnell on Apr 24, 2012

You’ve probably already heard that dental implants are an excellent permanent solution for missing teeth. But what are they, and why are they being used increasingly in place of traditional tooth replacement methods? At Replacement Tooth Dentistry in Novato, CA, we’re experts in this area of dentistry, so let’s take a look at the three basic components of a dental implant.

The Dental Implant Fixture

The Dental Implant Fixture is the part of the implant that is embedded in and becomes anchored to the jawbone through a process called “osseointegration”. Osseointegration simply refers to the process where the implant and surrounding tissue grow together, creating a permanent, new structure. This portion of the dental implant lies below the gum line and is sometimes referred to as the “artificial root”. The implant fixture is made of bio-compatible titanium in a screw-shaped design, and the surface is microscopically roughened, increasing its total surface area and creating greater bone-to-implant contact.

The Dental Implant Abutment

The abutment of a tooth implant is the stub portion of the fixture that will sit slightly above the gum line with a protruding surface that the crown or bridgework will rest upon. In order for the implant fixture to have time to fully integrate with the bone, the abutment is usually attached to the implant fixture by your Novato Dental Implants Dentist several months after the titanium screw portion is placed.

The Dental Prosthesis
This is the part of the implant unit that is visible and will become your new tooth. “Prosthesis” refers to the dental crown or dental bridgework that is supported by the implant and the abutment described above. Depending on how this dental work has been designed, it can either be cemented or screwed into place. The placement of the dental prosthesis is the final step in the implant process.

If you are missing one or more teeth you may be a good candidate for dental implants. But each patient has different needs, and we invite you to contact us at (415) 450-6284 to schedule a free consultation to determine if dental implants are right for you.