Dental Tribune International

Dental implant abutment design is “a small stone in the whole mosaic”

In a free upcoming webinar on 9 June, Dr Stavros Pelekanos will explain the importance of implant abutment design for implant dentistry and discuss the digital workflow in the anterior zone. In the run up to his presentation, Pelekanos, who heads his own dental practice in Athens in Greece and focuses on implantology and aesthetics, answered some questions on his area of expertise in an interview with Dental Tribune International.

Dr Pelekanos, what role does implant abutment design play in implant dentistry?
Implant abutment design plays a major role with regard to soft tissue and bone stability. It’s a small stone in the whole mosaic. The shape of the abutment (straight, convex or concave) dictates the emergence profile and is strongly related to the vertical and horizontal soft-tissue height, the implant depth and the soft-tissue phenotype (thick or thin). Consequently, there are two very important zones in the emergence profile: the cervical and the submergence profile, or deep and superficial contour, as other clinicians term them. Both of them are extremely important for the stability of the tissue over time.

How does the synergy between digital dentistry and biology work in dental implant abutment design?
Biologically, there are two materials that have proved to be biocompatible and stable in the long term: titanium and zirconia. Basically, we utilise them in our design concept in the deep and superficial contour—titanium in the depth and zirconia on the surface. The advantage of digital dentistry in general is that, on the one hand, we are moving more towards monolithic restorations and decreasing or eliminating the need for layering. On the other hand, we can copy more accurately the emergence profile of the provisional restoration. Everything is stored in the software, and we can redo the work if needed at the push of a button.

Is the dental implant abutment design important for the aesthetic outcome? Can dental professionals follow a 100% digital workflow in implantology?
That’s a tough question. It’s all related to the accuracy of the intra-oral scanners. I would say, in three-unit bridges or segmented full-mouth rehabilitations, we can follow a fully digital protocol. In full-mouth cross-arch implant restorations, we have some limitations, and we have to enter the analogue world at some point. Skilful dental designers must be involved.

Editorial note: The 1-hour webinar, titled “The synergy of digital dentistry and biology in implantology—designing and treatment workflow”, will be presented live on Tuesday, 9 June, at 7 p.m. CEST. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about the topic as well as earn a continuing education credit by answering a questionnaire after the lecture. Registration on the Dental Tribune Study Club website is free of charge.

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