St. Paul Implant Dentist Reviews the Dental Implant Fixture

Written by Drs. Mark and Rachel Malterud on Jan 17, 2012

Have you been hiding your smile because you’re self-conscious about missing teeth? Maybe you’ve heard about implants but have put off doing anything about it because you’re just not sure what dental implants are exactly?
You’ve probably heard that dental implants are an excellent permanent solution for missing teeth, and that they are being used increasingly in place of traditional tooth replacement methods. But what are they and why do they work? 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 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 the Minneapolis Implant 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, so schedule a consultation with Highland Park, MN Implant Dentist to determine if dental implants are right for you.