In dentistry, many words which seem to relate only to dentistry, actually stem from Latin “root” words, and are used in a variety of other fields as well. One such word, is “abutment,” which takes its root from the word “abut” meaning to share a common boundary with something else, or to “touch or lean upon.” An “abutment,” then, is a connective element.
For example, in the world of engineering, an abutment is the portion of a structure built below ground to support the weight of the structure above it. So, in the case of a home, the basement functions as an abutment (or, “substructure”) to the portion of the home that is above ground. The same can be said of bridges, which require a strong substructure to support its span across land or water.
In dentistry, this same material logic applies to the support our teeth need once they require restoration. There are essentially three types of general abutments in dentistry: bridge abutments, partial denture abutments and implant abutments. This procedure code covers implant abutments – specifically, an abutment that is prefabricated and not custom built for your tooth and mouth. It also covers the installation of the abutment atop the dental implant as described below.
Implant abutments are conical-shaped, and are screwed directly onto a dental implant that has been osseointegrated into the jawbone. For more information on the implant itself read the description on the types of surgical dental implants. Today, the most common form of implant abutments are made of tooth colored material to add a more natural look to the crown that covers the abutment. This type of abutment allows the crown to blend more appropriately with adjacent teeth as is the case with the dental codes for resin crowns and porcelain crowns. To learn more about the other two types of dental abutments, you may visit the dental procedure description page for abutments.