You may have been eating out someday, and a surprisingly hard piece was found on your food. You don’t pay attention and keep on chewing. Or maybe you cooked at home and overlooked the way you cleaned your beans before cooking them. Then you bit a hard piece of food, maybe a bone, maybe a little stone. And that’s it. You are done. Now you broke a tooth. An essential part of your body, one that you use every day; and sometimes, in a severe case scenario, one that everyone can see when damaged or broken. It may seem like the end for you looking good or eating with that part of your denture. Or even struggling to eat certain types of food, depending on the tooth you broke, to begin with.
Breathe in, breathe out!
Then you realize that it may not be the end of the world for you. Having a healthy denture can be a huge privilege to some. Dentists are expensive, and not everyone can pay them to repair certain accidents satisfactorily; a way that is both functional and aesthetically matches your other teeth. So if you invest a most certainly high amount of money in your denture, you may as well have the best and most versatile option available; especially if you need to replace a whole piece or several ones.
This can be worrisome for most people. If you are not an expert, you may not know what to expect regarding finish and quality. After all having a whole dental piece replaced is a big deal, regarding money, lifelong care, and aesthetic outcomes. It is not strange to worry about all of this, knowing that these procedures are a delicate subject matter and require pertinent decision making and further care. The worries may start to build even before your dentist tells you that you need an implant on your denture.
And, then you find out about UCLA abutments, and everything gets better.
So, what is an abutment?
An abutment is an element in a dental implant that connects your implant to the bones that support it into your mouth. Sometimes they are like a screw and sometimes they have other shapes. The important thing is that they help the dentures look as natural as the rest of your denture; by being the implant integrated to the bone, the implanted teeth may look as deeply rooted into your gums as the other teeth.
What’s a UCLA abutment?
The UCLA abutment is a type of implant that incorporates three elements: a cylinder made of gold, a plastic sleeve and the ceramic part that is cast over the plastic sleeve latter.
These abutments are very versatile, and every patient can be sure that it can be customized to match the color of their teeth. However, there are a few things that you must know about them to understand why are they not cheap in any way:
UCLA abutments need considerable craftsmanship
The technician has to work considerably when these implants are to be made. The plastic sleeve needs to be waxed, and then a cast has to be made out of it and then baked with ceramic.
But of course, all of this work has its benefits:
-This abutment is strong, even stronger than zirconium abutments. This strength is due to the metal connections that are attached to them.
-They look similar in coloration to the teeth of the patient (they can be customized), and they are opaque enough so that they do not look strangely white as some other inferior quality implants.
-They are very versatile. Remember that every implant variation brings size considerations. In implants, size is related to the strength of the materials, and you would not use a zirconium implant when it is a small implant, it would be too fragile to be feasible.
For these reasons, the UCLA abutment has higher cost and due to the requirements involving the treatment given to the ceramic material. It has to be adapted to fit the gums, and this is what makes it a perfect match in most cases.