No assignee for this patent application, patent application serial number 829330, has been made.
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Dental implants are a common treatment for the replacement of a missing tooth or missing teeth. An implant is placed into the bone in a person's jaw in a variety of fashions and using a variety of systems. The bone and the implant adhere together in a process known as osseointegration, thus enabling a person to have a new tooth or set of teeth held into position in the jaw utilizing screws to hold them down.
"Many firms manufacture complete systems of dental implants and prosthetic components for subsequent attachment to the implant. In a typical construction, the implant has an axially threaded hole at its top, that is, the proximal end, near the gum surface. After the implant has integrated with the bone, the gum of the implant is opened to expose the tapped hole. Then a transmucosal abutment is attached to the tapped hole of the implant and extends to a level above the gum or substantially to the gum surface. The protruding free end of the abutment is constructed for attachment of a prosthesis. For preventing rotation of the prosthesis, the protruding end of the abutment requires a non-round shape and a hexagon protrusion has been widely used. A recessed hexagon is also popular with some systems. The abutment also includes a central threaded hole concentric with the threaded hole of the implant and extending inward toward the jaw bone.
"A false tooth or frame is provided with a hole therethrough, known in the industry as a chimney, and a non-round recess in its base corresponds in shape to the protruding non-round cross section for the abutment. Thereby, the crown can be connected to the abutment and relative rotation between them is prevented so long as critical contours of the abutment and the recess in the crown are maintained.
"To prevent the crown or bridge from lifting axially from the abutment, a final screw is passed into the chimney opening and engages the tapped hole in the implant by way of the abutment so as to hold the crown axially to the abutment and to the implant. Thus, the crown cannot rotate about the abutment or implant because it is mated with the special contours on the exposed end of the abutment. The abutment is similarly mated to the proximal or outer end of the implant. The crown cannot pull away from the abutment when the screw has been tightened into place.
"Finally, the chimney above the screw is filled with a composite material that hardens and is shaped as part of the crown to look lie a natural tooth.
"There are many variations in construction.
"In an alternative method, the crown is attached directly to a non-round protrusion of the implant and is held directly to the implant by a gold screw without use of an intermediate abutment.
"The implant is intended to be a permanent fixture in the jaw bone. The abutment and crown may be replaced if necessary due to damage or poor fit by gaining access to the screw head by way of the chimney, and backing off the screw so that the crown and abutment or crown to the implant can be separated from the implant. Thus repairs may be made of an abutment and crown with no or little inconvenience.
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