The abutment is the part of the dental implant that emerges from the gums to hold the crown. While a majority of dental patients see excellent results with stock abutments, you also have the option of custom milled abutments for your implants. This guide will explain four key benefits of custom abutments for dental implants.
1. Better Bond With Dental Crown
The bond between a dental implant abutment and crown is determined by the total surface area that is in contact between the two components. Custom abutments will generally have a higher surface after milling than stock abutments. Custom abutments can be made to fit the interior contours of your dental crowns so that there is virtually no space between the crown and abutment.
Custom dental implant abutments can be created with a shape designed to create a better bond with the crown if bonding is a concern. Grooves in the abutment may be used to hold the crown in place more solidly, or the abutment may be designed to widen slightly near the tip. Dental patients who play sports frequently or have otherwise active lifestyles may benefit from more secure custom abutments.
2. More Flexible Implant Locations
Your dentist may recommend custom abutments if your missing tooth was in a particularly cramped or hard-to-reach spot in your mouth. Sometimes, crowding between the teeth is so severe that dental cement cannot be used. In these cases, oral surgeons often use a screw-retained implant and a custom abutment to hold the crown in place.
Dental crowding or improper development of the jaw can sometimes cause teeth to emerge from the gums at unusual angles. Just a few millimeters of space can spell the difference between implant success and failure. Custom abutments give your oral surgeon granular control over the positioning of the crown so that implants can be used at more unusual angles. With stock implants, there will always be a small margin of error due to tiny spaces between the abutment and crown.
3. Shorter Healing Time
Before the final abutment that supports the crown is placed, oral surgeons use healing abutments to protect new implants while they integrate with the jaw bone. The healing abutment stays in place for four to six weeks on average and is then replaced with the final abutment in a follow-up visit. Healing abutments can be custom milled like final abutments to accelerate the healing process and create a contour that is more conducive to soft tissue healing.
The shape of the gum tissue around an emerging tooth is called the emergence profile. The emergence profile should adhere closely to the shape of the dental implant crown and abutment. Custom healing implants can be used to ensure the emergence profile matches the crown perfectly. This eliminates gaps around the implant that could potentially allow infection to set up in the dental socket and significantly shortens recovery time.
4. Improved Aesthetics
The emergence profile of the gums around an implant is important for the appearance of dental implants as well as their health. Gaps around an implant can allow it to shift slightly until it appears misaligned. An imperfect emergence profile may cause slight visible imperfections in the gums that could be visible when you speak or smile. Custom abutments ensure that your implant and the surrounding gums look as natural as possible.
Dental implants are the most permanent and realistic option for tooth replacement, and custom abutments bring the fit and function of implants to a new level. Remember to ask your dental care provider about custom abutments for dental implants so you can work together to find the most effective solution to restore your smile!