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Difference Between Healing Abutment and Cover Screw

Dental implants are important and worth the expense if you have missing teeth and you need it replaced. When a natural tooth is lost, masticatory function is greatly affected. When the underlying bone of the jaws does not function normally it loses its mass and density slowly, which can lead to fractures of the mandible. As a result, the physical appearance of a person is affected. Dental implants are among the most successful procedures in case of teeth loss. Modern dental implants are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. Healing abutment and cover screw are two important components of the dental implant, which allow healing of the soft tissue.

Healing Abutment

An abutment is a small connector piece that is placed on the top of the implant between the implant post and the prosthetic. Also known as a healing cap, this is a special type of abutment that helps with the healing of soft and hard tissues around the implant. It basically gives shape and tightens the gum tissue which prevents food particles from getting stuck around the implant. It is also like a little screw with a height about six to seven millimeters and it sticks out or protrude through the gums. An abutment is something general dentists or the restorative dentist place prior to putting in the actual crown of the tooth or the implant.

Cover Screw

The cover screw is placed deep underneath and sealed through the implant, so the gum above it can be completely sealed. It allows the implant to be buried underneath the gum tissue so nothing sticks out of the gums, allowing the wound to heal without any complications. Dentists use a cover screw mainly if the implant goes in but in not a super strong bone. First the bone is drilled before the implant fixture which is placed and then covered with a cover screw. A cover screw is very thin and covers the opening of the dental implant. After the appropriate waiting time, the implant is then exposed, and the cover screw is removed and replaced with a healing cap. The healing cap is later removed and the implant crown is placed on the fixture.

Difference between Healing Abutment and Cover Screw

Placement

– A cover screw is a flat-head screw that goes deep inside the gums, so the gums around and above it can be sealed properly. This allows the wounds after the dental implant surgery to heal with any complications or infections. An abutment, on the other hand, is a small connector piece that is placed on the top of the implant. This is sometimes referred to as a healing cap and can help soft and hard tissues around the implant heal.

When to use

– During the dental implant surgery, if the implant does not have a very good primary stability or the implant does not go in a super strong bone, a cover screw is used. But if a cover screw is placed, you’ll have to come four to six months later once the bone has integrated around that implant. An abutment is something general dentists or the restorative dentist place prior to putting in the actual crown of the tooth or the implant. The abutment is placed right after the implant to prevent the need for a further surgical procedure.

Healing Abutment vs. Cover Screw: Comparison Chart

Summary

So, the lifecyle of the implant goes something like this: dentists place the dental implant in and they use either a cover screw or a healing abutment. If a cover screw is placed then you’ll have to come again like four to six months later once the bone has integrated around that implant. A dentist will then open the gums up and replace the cover screw with a healing abutment or a healing cap, which allows the gums to heal properly. The tissues are then repositioned around the healing cap and allowed to heal. After the healing period, the healing cap is removed and the implant crown is placed on the dental implant fixture.

Is cover screw the same as healing abutment?

A cover screw is placed deep underneath and sealed through the gums whereas the healing abutment is placed on top of the implant.

What does a cover screw do?

A cover screw is very thin and covers the opening of the dental implant, so the gum above it can be completely sealed.

How long does it take for healing abutment to heal?

One the abutment is placed, it takes around two weeks for the gum tissue to heal. After the gums are healed properly, the crown is placed.

What are healing abutments used for?

A healing abutment gives shape and tightens the gum tissue which prevents food particles from getting stuck around the implant. It helps with the healing of soft and hard tissues around the implant.

What’s next after healing abutment?

After the healing period, the healing abutment is removed and the implant crown is placed on the dental implant fixture.

What are the 3 stages of dental implants?

The 3-stage process includes placement of the dental implant, placing the healing abutment, and finally placement of implant crown.

Can I chew with healing abutment?

You are advised not to chew on the healing abutment for the first three to four months after the dental implant procedure.

How do you keep a healing abutment clean?

You need to gently but thoroughly rinse around the abutment with a gentle brush and toothpaste.

How long after abutment is crown placed?

After a brief healing period of three to six months, the abutment is removed and the final crown is placed on the dental implant fixture.

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References :


[0]Almasri, Mazen Ahmad. Dental Implantology and Biomaterial. Rijeka, Croatia: Intech Open, 2016. Print

[1]Misch, Carl E. and Randolph Resnik. Misch's Avoiding Complications in Oral Implantology. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Health Sciences, 2017. Print

[2]Babbush, Charles A., et al. Dental Implants: The Art and Science. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Health Sciences, 2010. Print

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