What are Healing Abutments/ Caps
Definition of dental Healing Abutments/ caps:
A healing abutment is a special type of abutment designed to facilitate the healing of bone and soft tissue around a dental implant. The healing cap also protects the main part of the implant from plaque and debris accumulations. It is often fitted on top of the implant. It is slightly wider than the implant to help shape the gum line.
Two zones of oral tissue come into contact with healing abutments: fiber-rich connective tissue, and junctional epithelium. These tissues react to the surface texture and chemical composition of the material, and the ability of tissue cells to adhere to the surface of the implant depends largely on the lack of surface contamination and the hydrophilicity of it.
An oral surgeon can fit the healing abutment in either the one-stage or two-stage procedure.
Healing Abutments/ Caps Placement in One-stage Procedure:
In the one-stage procedure, the oral surgeon will place the implant and the healing cap at the same time. The implant is first inserted into the bone, then the healing cap is attached to it. The healing abutment will protrude through the surface of the gum and stay in place while the dental implant heals. Once the implant and jawbone fully integrate, the healing cap will be removed to gain access to the implant. The abutment will then replace the healing cap. Finally, the crown will be placed over the abutment.
Healing Abutments/ Caps Placement in Two-stage Procedure:
In the two-stage procedure, after the oral surgeon inserts the implant into the bone, it is covered with gum tissue and left to heal. After healing, the implant fuses with the bone in the process of osseointegration for several months. The second phase involves making another incision to expose the implant before the healing cap is screwed on it. The healing abutment will help the surrounding gum to heal. After some weeks, the healing cap will be removed before the attachment of the abutment and eventually the crown will be put in place.
Healing abutments/ Caps should not be reused
Dentists should Not Reuse healing caps. One of the main reasons is because the recreation of the surface of a new abutment is not feasible even with sterilization. Sterilization can also change the initial composition of the titanium surface, which makes the product less effective. Sometimes cleaning may damage the healing cap implant screws. This can make it hard to fix it tightly in an implant.