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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults


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Rewinding the Years: Dental Care Tips for Older Adults

Once my children were grown and on their own, I decided it was time to care of me. One of the first things I did was make an appointment with the dentist. I quickly discovered that years of not keeping up with my own dental care had taken a heavy toll on my teeth. Whereas I thought my teeth were just fine, the dentist pointed out several problems that were going to require a lot of work. When talking to friends, I found out that many of them were in the same boat. This blog is for people like me who just did not have time to keep up with their own dental care.

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Understanding Two Types Of Implant Root Caps

If you are looking at some of yout tooth replacement options, then dental implants are likely to crop up as one of the best and most permanent choices. There are actually quite a few different parts and pieces to the implant device, including the piece that actually sits on top of the implant root. Specifically, the device will be either a cover screw or an abutment. Keep reading to learn more about these devices.

What is a Cover Screw?

A cover screw is a small and flat cap that is tightened in place over the top of the dental implant. The cap fits into a small opening on the top of the device, and it seals this space so gum tissues do not grow into the area. The cover screw is a temporary device that is used during a two-stage surgical procedure. These procedures involve two separate surgeries. The first operation involves the placement of the implant root.

Once the implant root is secured, the cap is placed on top and the gum tissues are stitched over the cap. During the second surgery, the gums are opened to reveal the cover screw. The screw is removed and then the healing cap is added.

The cover screw is an additional device that is required when the implant root cannot sustain pressure and is not ready for the crown tooth. For example, you may need to be fitted with a cover screw if you have undergone a bone grafting procedure.

What is an Abutment?

An abutment, or healing cuff, is the small root-attached device that sits up above the gum tissues. This device is added to the implant during a single surgical treatment, or after the cover screw or cap is removed and the area is ready. The abutment is typically added alone and without the crown tooth until the gum tissues heal.

The abutment is a small cylindrical device that provides your artificial tooth with stability and strength. It may be a titanium construction like the implant, or your dentist can choose a zirconia device that is tooth-colored.

While most abutments are removable, they are tightened well enough that they are unlikely to loosen. They are only removed if the artificial tooth has been damaged and must be replaced. Your dentist will test the attachment during your check-ups to make sure it is as secure as it should be.

If you want to know more about dental implants and the small cap pieces that are available, speak to your dental professional.