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Implant Teeth With Natural Anatomy

I had the opportunity to lecture at the American Academy of Osseointegration meeting in 2012. After the lecture, a vice president from a national dental lab met with me and asked “How can we reduce the incidence of peri-implantitis?” I began to collaborate on a project. As a result of this effort, we have developed the anatomic abutment.

Over a decade, somewhere between 5% and 25% of patients will develop inflammation or bone loss around their dental implants. Just as with natural teeth, patients who floss can prevent this problem. However, less than 10% of the population uses floss. Another contributing factor is the shape of implants. All implants are round, and the abutments (whether factory made or custom) are mostly round. Abutments are the posts that attach to the top of implants. A crown is attached to the abutment. The crown is the tooth that you see when you look in the mirror. But as we know, none of the teeth have a round shape. The round shape and diameter can lead to food impaction between teeth and implants. This shape mismatch of the original tooth and implant can also lead to loss of the tissue between teeth and implants.

Now imagine an implant tooth that was made by a computerized machine to look just like a natural tooth. We have developed a process to make abutments have the shape of the tooth. The advantage of an anatomic abutment is:

It has the same shape as a natural tooth. This anatomy supports the papillae and prevents food impaction.

The lab we send our planning to will keep a computer file of the natural shape of your implant tooth.

Using a 3-D xray, I plan the position, shape, and size of the implant to replace the tooth. At the time of surgery, I extract the tooth. If the bony anatomy is strong enough, I will replace the tooth with an implant the same day. If the bony anatomy cannot provide stability, I graft the socket and place the implant after initial bony healing. If the bone density can support pressure, I place an anatomic abutment that extends out of the gum and place a screw retained temporary crown or bridge.

We test the bone density around the implant over the next several months with an ultrasound device. When the density reaches a hard density, the implant is ready for the final crown. After the crown is on the implant, we check to make sure the bite is right and the gums around the implant are healthy. We set up a schedule for you over the following years to make sure the implant stays healthy.