See what prosthetic devices are and what they are used for

When it comes to rehabilitating the mouth with dental implants, it will be necessary to resort to some prosthetic devices. We tell you what they are and what they are for.

Last update: September 13, 2022

Dental implants are one of the most used options and with the best results to solve the lack of teeth in the mouth. During this type of rehabilitation it is usual to use prosthetic accessories, key pieces to recover the smile.

Implant treatment consists of placing a screw inside the bone that integrates with this tissue. This stem in the bone thickness acts as an artificial root that holds the prosthesis and replaces the missing teeth.

Prosthetic devices are lesser-known components that are part of this process of recovering lost teeth. These are pieces that connect the prostheses with the implants to give stability and security to the entire treatment.

What are prosthetic devices?

The devices that join the dental implant with the different structures that make up the prosthesis are known as “prosthetic accessories”. Its main function is to fix, retain and stabilize the prosthetic portion to the bone screw..

They are pieces designed and made in a very meticulous and precise way so that they can be adapted exactly to the surfaces of the implant and the prosthesis. These small structures complete the rehabilitation with the implant and give stability and firmness to the entire prosthetic complex.

As we will see in detail later, there are different types of prosthetic devices that fulfill different functions. In any case, these devices must meet some requirements that guarantee their functionality:

  • Good sealing: prosthetic components must adequately seal the interface between the implant and the prosthesis. In this way, the filtration of external agents that would put the entire treatment at risk is avoided.
  • Retention and adaptability: the devices used must conform to the shape of the implant and prosthetic restoration and remain attached to both surfaces.
  • Unalterable: the passage of time, the use of rehabilitation and external agents, such as traumas or food substances, should not alter or modify them.
  • Stability: the prosthetic accessories must be firmly attached to the implant and the prosthesis, avoiding any type of movement that destabilizes the rehabilitation and generates future problems.
Post and crown dental treatment does not only use these elements. Attachments contribute to the success of therapy.

Types of prosthetic devices

There are different types of prosthetic devices that are used for different functions. The use that is given to them depends on their design and the moment in which they are applied.

These are the most common prosthetic devices:

  • Lid or closure cap: It is a small cap-shaped device that is screwed onto the newly placed implant, in the area where the abutments will later go. Its function is to prevent the screw from becoming covered with bone and gum and external agents from entering the intervened area.
  • Healing abutments: They are small pillars that are screwed to the implant, protruding over the edge of the gum. These prosthetic accessories allow the soft tissues to heal around them, creating an adequate biological space to later place the prosthesis. In general, they are placed when the implant is already osseointegrated.
  • Definitive prosthetic abutments: They are devices that are placed on the implant to be able to access from the oral cavity when screwing or cementing the prosthetic rehabilitation. They can be made of metal or ceramic and are placed once the gum has healed, although some authors suggest placing it in the same surgery that the screw is inserted into the bone, to avoid connections and disconnections that affect the tissues.
  • Transfers or transfer caps: These are stainless steel or plastic elements, with a conical or square shape, that are screwed to the implant when it is necessary to take an impression of the area. With this it is possible to send the exact position of the implant to the laboratory.
  • Analogous: It is a device that allows the implant or abutment to be replicated in a plaster model in order to send it to the laboratory and facilitate its handling. Indicates the exact position of the implant in the patient’s mouth.
  • Through prosthetic screw: It is a very small screw that is fixed to the prosthetic abutment attached to the implant. Through this screw the prosthetic rehabilitation is adjusted.

Materials with which the prosthetic devices are manufactured

Dental implants that are placed inside the bone are usually made of titanium. This biocompatible material It is what facilitates the integration of the screw with the bone tissue, giving the prosthesis the desired fixation and stability.

On the other hand, the prostheses or crowns that replace missing teeth can be made of various materials. There are metal, zirconium, porcelain, resin or a combination of some of these. Depending on the sector of the mouth to be rehabilitated, the needs of the patient, their preferences and possibilities, the material to choose will depend.

prosthetic devices They can also be made of different materials. In this case, the composition of the device depends on its function in the treatment.

Many prosthetic devices They are made of titanium, especially the pillars and the caps. This is a material that combines biocompatibility, strength and light weight with high durability and strength.

In any case, there are other materials with which the abutments for the implants can also be made. They are made of surgical grade stainless steel, cast gold, zirconium and polyether ether ketone (PEEK).

How to care for prosthetic accessories?

After the surgery in which the implant is inserted inside the bone, The gums take about 2 to 4 weeks to heal. During this time, it is advisable to follow the surgeon’s advice regarding diet and oral hygiene.

In general, soft diets that prevent a great chewing effort are preferred. The cold is a great ally when it comes to deflating the tissues, so resorting to fresh food after surgery will speed up healing.

Proper oral cleaning prevents infections and promotes tissue recovery. For this reason, tooth brushing should not be suspended or neglected.

In the intervened area, it should be done with more care and caution, using a soft brush or special instruments for this purpose. In addition, if the dentist considers it pertinent, he may indicate the use of antiseptic gels or liquids to better sanitize the mouth.

Following the professional’s instructions is essential to avoid complications or infections that affect healing and the success of the intervention. Once the implants are placed in the mouth, the dentist will resort to the placement of the different prosthetic accessories that we tell you about to continue with the treatment.

You will do this at different times, depending on the stage of the rehabilitation process.

In any case, care regarding food and dental hygiene are the same. If the mouth is cared for, the risks of complications are lower.

Oral hygiene prolongs the useful life of implants and abutments.

The time to place the prosthesis

When the implants have integrated into the bone and the gums have healed and healed around the abutments, It is time to finish the treatment by placing the definitive prosthesis. Model making, lab work, and in-mouth tests can take a few weeks and several office visits.

First, impressions of the mouth are taken that include the teeth and the implants with their abutments. The bite is also recorded to see how the upper teeth relate to the lower teeth. Thus, models are obtained that accurately replicate the patient’s oral cavity; on these the new prosthesis is manufactured.

When the laboratory sends the ready prosthesis, some adjustments are made so that the new artificial denture fits properly in the oral cavity. It is sought that it looks natural and beautiful, but also that it is comfortable and does not injure the other structures.

To place the prosthesis on the implants definitively, the corresponding prosthetic accessories are used. Thus, the patient will be able to enjoy their new teeth.

This entire process can be performed on one or more missing teeth. In fact, if the patient is missing several elements, prosthetic alternatives can be used that allow them to be replaced simultaneously.

An essential part

Having a healthy, attractive and long-lasting smile is possible with dental implants. Know in detail what the treatment consists of will help you make an informed decision when it comes to getting your smile back.

Prosthetic attachments are the least known structures of dental implant treatments. But the lack of popularity does not make them less important.

In fact, they are the key and fundamental connection for the screws in the bone to hold the artificial teeth. Now you know in detail what these small devices are about so necessary to achieve that healthy and beautiful smile you want.

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