If your dentist has mentioned that you will need to return for further treatment after work has been carried out at an abutment laboratory, then you may wonder what such institutions do. These days, many dental restoration procedures rely on the vital work that goes on in a dental abutment laboratory. After all, abutment is an integral component of numerous types of dental implant restorations. Abutments basically connect implants that are inserted into the jawbone to an artificial tooth or crown. Due to their intricate nature, specialized abutment laboratories are responsible for their production. Read on to find out what you can expect to be done for you when your dentist requests work from one.
Customized Abutment Production
To begin with, an abutment laboratory will primarily focus on fabricating individually tailored dental abutments. Trained technicians will make use of durable materials, such as titanium or zirconia, to make abutments that will fit the patient's unique oral anatomy perfectly. This meticulous level of customization starts with molds or digital scans of your mouth that your dentist will take. Typically, they're used to form a 3D model on which the fabricated abutment will be based.
Although some technicians at an abutment laboratory will work by hand, many now make use of the latest advances in computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) techniques to fabricate dental prosthetics. This technology translates the 3D models supplied by the dentist into precisely produced abutments. The process is not fully automated, however, because lab technicians still have to closely monitor the fabrication process to ensure that the end product fits with both the dental implant for which it is designed as well as the patient's surrounding teeth.
Research And Quality Control
In addition to fabrication, some dental abutment laboratories also play a role in research and development. This could come down to testing out new materials and technologies, for example, to see whether enhancements to the performance or aesthetics of dental abutments can be achieved. There again, dental abutment labs also often engage in a high standard of quality control practices. For instance, every abutment that is produced should undergo rigorous testing and inspection given that these are tailored products designed for clinical use.
In addition, dental abutment labs sometimes provide valuable consultation and support services for dental professionals. Experienced lab technicians are often experts in their field and, therefore, they can advise on the most suitable types of abutments for specific clinical scenarios. In short, dentists can utilize labs in their patient treatment planning.
For more information, contact a local abutment laboratory.