The abutment, often known as "the connector," sits between the fixture and the restoration. With one side that can screw into the post and the other that is made to cling to the prosthetic, it works as an adapter.
An abutment for a crown looks like a stumpy screw, whereas an abutment for dentures contains attachments for snapping the dentures in place. The overall design of the abutment will depend on whether you're having a crown, bridge, or dentures inserted. These designs allow for the attachment of the abutment using an internal hex (hexagon) connector in the post head, an external hex connector that allows the abutment to sit on top of the post, or an internal octagon connector.
Although the dentist can put the post, abutment, and temporary restoration all at once, there are some situations where the abutment isn't attached until the post has fused with the jawbone. As a result, a second, relatively simple procedure is required to pry apart the gum where it has grown over the implant post so that the abutment can be put in.
But if the dentist employs a healing abutment—also known as a healing cuff—this eliminates the need for a second surgery since this kind of abutment extends beyond the gums, creating enough of room for the crown. The final abutment and crown are then put in place when the dentist removes the healing cuff and the post has fused. Although a temporary crown can help shape the gums, your gums may need some little contouring to accommodate the size and shape of the crown.
Similar to implant posts, the most popular abutment materials are titanium and zirconia. When having a crown or bridge, some patients prefer zirconia because it has a tooth-colored appearance even though the abutment does protrude over the gum line.
Although it is now typical for the post and abutment to be joined as one unit during production, a "two-piece" design really predates this practice. Before the abutment is joined by cement or cold welding, the post is positioned here and given time to integrate with the bone for a number of months.
Because the top of the post can be accessible and the abutment may be installed at the required angle, this treatment gives the dentist more freedom to utilize the healthy bone that is already present. This cannot be done with a single-piece implant.
Many dentists still choose the two-piece design because the implant angle orientation is more forgiving even if a single-piece implant offers more strength, can be implanted in a quicker and less expensive process, and can be placed in a small location.Each design has its place, however, and which is best for you depends on the unique circumstances of your mouth.