Everything You Need to Know About Implant Abutment

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Implant abutment is a highly specialised dental procedure and a prerequisite if you want dental implants – but what exactly does abutment surgery entail, and are there any risks involved?

Implant dentistry has come a long way over the years, and there are now many available alternatives if you are missing teeth. One of the best ways to replace natural teeth is with dental implants.

But, the technology and terminology used can be quite confusing, so we are going to discover all the details about dental implants and connecting pieces you need to know.

This way, you can be sure your dental implant surgery is scheduled with the correct information and that your new teeth are a perfect fit.

What is a Dental Implant Abutment?

Dental implants are an artificial tooth that is placed in the jawbone to replace missing teeth.

Each implant has three main parts: the screw that acts like the artificial tooth root, an abutment that connects the screw to the crown, and the artificial tooth or the crown.

The abutment might be a less known part of the artificial teeth; still, in order to have the best dental implant and implant placement, you need to talk to your dental professional about all the possibilities and the healing process.

The abutment is now made in various shapes, including stock, tissue level, straight, angled, etc. In addition, the materials used include titanium, zirconium, and gold with the bonding cement or screws placement of the crown.

Depending on your gum tissue and the missing teeth, your oral surgeon will decide the best treatment and the type of abutment needed.

How Abutment Is Placed?

Your restorative dentist has two options when it comes to dental implants and abutment placement.

They can either use your gum tissue to cover the abutments or use the specialized healing abutments to expedite the healing process. In both cases, the implant is placed in the jawbone in one stage and the abutment is placed on top of it.

The implant site will need time to properly restore so your oral surgeon might suggest a cuff that promotes healing and expedites the entire treatment.

Standard Abutment with Gum Tissue

Once the screw is placed in your jawbone, your dentist will place the appropriate abutment over it. If they use your gum tissue to cover the abutment, you will need several weeks to heal, and an oral surgeon needs to make a small incision in your gums to place the crown.

This is standard practice, and it’s crucial to follow the surgeon’s advice, avoid crunchy foods and ensure proper cleaning to allow your gums to heal.

Healing Abutments for Missing Teeth

If you want to avoid second surgery, you can ask your dentist about healing abutments. These abutments are called healing cuffs, and dentists can use them to promote the healing of the gums in a few weeks.

Healing abutments are placed over the dental implants and have a wider surface that makes room for the future crown and protects the surrounding tissue at the same time.

After placing final abutments is complete, you need to avoid hard or crunchy foods and remember that proper cleaning prevents infection.

Once the healing process is complete, you will be ready for your new prosthesis. The jawbone fuses around the implant and now represents a perfect and sturdy structure for your implant.

In some cases, if the jawbone is not strong or thick enough, your doctor will make a bone graft before placing abutments. This will include taking a piece of your bone or using a synthetic one to make the structure strong enough. While this might consist of several office visits, it’s one of the essential surgery steps to prevent future problems around the implant site.

How Is the Dental Implant Surgery Performed?

Your oral surgeon will assess the situation and most likely require additional x-rays to picture better your oral health and the state of your jawbone.

Once you agree on the dental implant surgery and the procedure, you will get local anesthesia to numb the area and make the placing healing abutments painless.

Tooth Roots

The first step is surgery to place the screws in the jawbone that will act as a tooth root and fuse to the bone after some time in a process called osseointegration. The screw will ensure your teeth fit perfectly in your jaw, and a permanent prosthesis to be placed on top of it.


The healing abutment is placed on the screw and acts as a connecting piece for the crown. Today you will most likely get bone-level implant restoration that has a good connection to the secure platform of the abutment and looks more natural.

The abutment is temporarily secured in your jawbone until the custom-fit teeth are made.


Once the gum tissue heal you will be able to get crowns placed in. They can be connected to the abutment with dental cement or screw technology.

Keep in mind that cement is commonly used, but some recent studies confirm that it can cause degenerative problems, and your restorative dentist might recommend dental implants that are screwed in. In addition, cement can be more visible under the crown, so make sure to get the correct information.

If you had a healing abutment placed in, you can avoid the second surgery and have the precise model placed in. You might have several fittings to ensure a custom fit and the most natural teeth.

Some offices will also perform bite registrations to see how your teeth fit together and if anything feels loose. The implant placed in will act as your natural tooth and, with proper care, will last a long time. It’s rare to hear someone breaks implants, but just like your teeth, they are not indisputable.


Who needs dental implants?

Recommend dental implants for patients with missing teeth who need fixed bridgework or fixed prosthesis.

Your restorative dentist will recommend surgery to place the dental implant into your jawbone and a second surgery to place the final abutments after the tissue is healed.

Is abutment surgery painful?

Most of the time, this type of surgery is less painful than placing the screws. Dental offices ensure proper anesthesia for all patients to stop the pain and ensure the best treatment. You don’t have to worry about the implant surgery and needed adjustments.

Why are healing abutments better?

Many dentists will recommend healing abutment as the best option that promotes tissue healing and makes room for future crowns. If you don’t eat hard food and use the prescribed medicine, your gums will be healed in a few weeks.

If anything feels loose or wrong, you need to inform your dentist and make an appointment as soon as possible.

How long does the healing of the gum tissue take?

Gums heal differently in patients depending on hygiene, following the directions, and genetics. In most cases, it will take a couple of weeks for your gums to heal before placing the final abutment.

Final Thoughts

In case you have a missing tooth or several of them you might benefit from a visit to a restorative dentist.

Dental implants are one of the most popular and convenient ways to get your smile perfect. In addition to straightening techniques such as Invisalign braces, the implants are becoming the number one strategy to have the bright smile you are looking for.

Now, that you are familiar with all the terminology, you can make an informed decision and begin making inquiries with your local dental offices.

It’s important to remember that your gums will be sore and you need to make all the right choices that promote healing including placing a healing abutment that are protecting your gums and following the advice given by your oral surgeon.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.