What is abutments?

Origin of the word

The name abutment comes from the English word abutment , which means "support". An abutment is a transitional part between an artificial root and a crown or prosthesis. An implant is a screw that is inserted into the bone, under the gum. The abutment plays the role of a plug, preventing saliva, food debris and plaque from entering the implant cavity. It allows the gingiva to form around the implant and is also a crown support or fixation device for a prosthesis that is attached to the implant.

The abutment is, on the one hand, a cylinder or screw screwed to the implant, and on the other, a small cone on which a crown is placed or a prosthesis is attached.

What are abutments?

Basically, all abutments can be divided into groups according to two main characteristics - according to the shape and the material from which they are made.

In some cases, a custom abutment can replace the gingival level - the abutment design may include a pink part made of ceramic or plastic to cover a severely receded gingiva.

Depending on the shape, the abutments are divided into the following groups:

  1. Standard or universal abutment: these abutments are widely available in all implantation systems. They have a different length of the conical part, as well as a different inclination of this part with respect to the axis of the implant (usually from 200 to 400).

  2. Angled abutment - similar to the standard, but has a greater angle of inclination, so it is possible to install a crown or prosthesis also at an angle.

  3. Ball-shaped abutment - in shape resembles a rod with a ball at the end. It is often used for fastening prostheses that restore large groups of teeth.

  4. Individual abutment - made in the laboratory according to the needs of the patient. Depending on the needs of the patient, it can be created in various forms.

Abutments also include gum formers - small plugs that are screwed into the implant for a while so that a gum margin forms around the future abutment and crown.

In many systems dental implants the abutment and the implant are integral in order to load the implant immediately after its installation.

According to the material of manufacture, abutments are divided into:

  1. Titanium is the most common material for both implants and abutments. Titanium rarely causes allergic reactions, is not rejected by the body and is not susceptible to oxidation processes.

  2. Gold - used in case of titanium intolerance, this material is also more aesthetic.

  3. Ceramic - due to the color, it allows you to achieve excellent aesthetics when implanted in the anterior section, in the smile zone.

  4. Zirconia - have excellent aesthetics and strength.

  5. Plastic - often used as a cheap temporary option, if for some reason it is impossible to immediately install a permanent structure.

  6. Combined - such abutments consist of various materials. For example, titanium and ceramics.

Despite the fact that implantation systems with simultaneous loading are becoming more and more active (and in such systems the abutment and the implant are one piece), it is too early to talk about a complete rejection of abutments.

Abutments can also be divided into groups according to the principle of how the crown or prosthesis is attached:

  • With the help of a screw, the crown or prosthesis is screwed to the abutment. This allows the structure to be removed for repairs or special procedures. But for this type of attachment, a hole in the crown or prosthesis for the screw is required, which is subsequently covered with material.

  • Fixation on a special cement - with the help of cementation, a stronger and more reliable connection of the crown and abutment is achieved. Moreover, the integrity of the crown or prosthesis is not violated.