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What are Dental Implants? Columbia, MD

The makeup of a dental implant restoration is complex. This teeth replacement system is unlike any option available today. Dr. Ray Becker explains what dental are and the parts that make up a dental implant restoration. parts of a dental implant in columbia, md

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a whole teeth replacement system that can replace any number of missing teeth. It is made up of three separate parts. Together, these parts operate almost like natural teeth. The parts of a dental implant include an implant fixture, the abutment, and the final dental prosthesis.

Implant Fixture

The implant fixture is the part of the restoration that replaces the missing teeth roots and supports the prosthesis. Dental implant must be surgically inserted into the jaw bone. Dr. Becker will perform this part of the dental implant process in his office. Implants fixtures come in various sizes and materials.

The implant surgery

The implant surgery is fairly easy. You will be given local anesthesia to numb the area around where the implant will be placed. Is some cases, general anesthesia will also be used especially if multiple dental implants are being placed.

Dr. Becker will make a small incision in the gums to access the bone. He will create a small hole to carefully insert the implant into the bone. The last step is to stitch up the gums or secure an abutment. A single implant will take about 1 -2 hours to place but a complex case with multiple implants may require a longer surgical time.

The different sizes of implants

Dental implants come in three basic sizes: standard, mini, and wide. Most cases will use a standard implant, which measures between 3.5 mm – 4.3 mm wide in diameter. However, there are some circumstances when a mini or wide implant must be utilized.

A mini dental implant is only 2 mm – 3.5 mm wide in diameter. It is necessary to use it when there is little space between teeth roots or with patients who lack bone mass. A wide dental implant has a diameter of 4.5 mm – 6mm. They are necessary when patients are placing larger teeth with more expansive root systems such as the teeth in the back of the mouth.

Implant materials

Most dental implants are made of titanium. This type of metal is tested, predictable, and safe. It is biocompatible which means the human body accepts it. Many types of replacement body parts are made of titanium. Human bone can fuse to the surface it creating a very strong bond. Titanium is very lightweight but also very strong. Along with being highly corrosion resistant, it will literally last for a very long time.

However, titanium is a metal, and some patients are allergic to metal. For this reason, many dentists may suggest zirconia dental implants. It is also biocompatible and resistant to corrosion. Zirconia implants are also resistant to bacteria.


The abutment is a crucial component of the restoration. It is responsible for connecting the dental implant to the artificial tooth or teeth. There are prefabricated abutments available Dr. Becker can use, or we can custom-make one to fit your tooth or teeth perfectly. In most cases, it is better to take the time to have a custom abutment created. They are more expensive and will add some time to your treatment. However, using a stock abutment is a way to save time and money but will offer little customization.

Placing the abutment will occur at one of two times. They can be placed at the same time as the implants, or they can be placed during a second surgical procedure.

  • One-Stage Surgery: During a one-stage surgery, Dr. Becker will place the dental implants and the abutments at the same time. These abutments are called healing abutments, and they help the gum tissue heal around the implant site. Once the implants have fused with the bone, the healing abutment is replaced with the permanent abutment.
  • Two-Stage Surgery: During a two-stage, Dr. Becker will suture the gums shut once the implants are in place. Once the implants have fused with the bone, a second surgery will occur. Dr. Becker will open the gums and place the abutment.

Final Dental Prosthesis

The part of your dental implant restoration is the false teeth. The kind of prosthesis you will get depends on the number of teeth you are missing and where they are located in your mouth. Dr. Becker will take impressions, measurements, and X-rays if needed to make sure your new teeth fit perfectly in your mouth. It typically takes two weeks for a dental lab to fabricate your permanent prosthesis. You may get one of the following:

  • Dental crown: A dental crown will be secured to a single dental implant if you are missing one tooth.
  • Dental bridge: A dental bridge will be secured to at least two dental implants if you are missing several consecutive missing teeth.
  • Denture: If you are missing all of your teeth along an arch, Dr. Becker will secure a custom denture for between four and eight dental implants.

To learn more about dental implants and how they work, schedule a consultation with Dr. Becker in Columbia, MD. You can request an appointment online by filling out the form.