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What Is A Healing Abutment For A Dental Implant?

dental implant healing abutment

Your dentist must have mentioned healing caps if you’re going for dental implants. These healing caps are healing abutments. 

Your dentist recommends healing abutment when your gums need a framework to heal around. The sole duty of the healing abutment is to aid in oral healing and prevent gum recession.

If you’re interested in learning more about dental implants and healing abutments, continue reading this guide. 

What Is A Healing Abutment For Implants?

A healing abutment, often referred to as a healing cap or gingival former, is a small, typically titanium device used in dental implant procedures. Its primary function is to guide the healing of the soft and hard tissues around a dental implant, while simultaneously protecting the implant from plaque and debris. The healing abutment is an essential component in both one-stage and two-stage dental implant procedures, aiding in the successful integration of the implant with the jawbone and the formation of a natural-looking gum line.

How Does An Implant Healing Abutment Work?

An implant healing abutment works by guiding the healing of the soft and hard tissues around a dental implant. Once the implant is placed into the jawbone, the healing abutment is attached to its top, protruding slightly above the gum line. This guides the gum tissue to heal in a shape that will naturally accommodate the final dental prosthesis. Additionally, the healing abutment protects the main part of the implant from plaque and debris during the healing process.

How is the Abutment Fitted?

The fitting of a healing abutment is a part of the dental implant procedure. It is typically attached to the top of the dental implant after its placement into the jawbone. This process is performed under local anaesthesia. The oral surgeon makes a small incision in the gum tissue to expose the dental implant, then the healing abutment is screwed onto the implant. The gum tissue is then sutured around the abutment, leaving its top exposed. This allows the gum tissue to heal around the abutment, forming a natural-looking gum line.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Healing Abutment?

Some of the benefits of using healing abutments are:

  • They boost the healing of soft and hard tissue over the dental implant
  • The healing cap shields the implant from the accumulation of debris, including plaque.
  • They protect your implants from pressure caused by occlusion. Occlusion-caused pressure gets formed when your opposing teeth come together.

Note: You can only use healing abutments once. Using them more than once can degrade their performance. 

Also, the surgeon would find it difficult to use a screwdriver to engage the used abutment properly. This is because food particles or debris that are difficult to remove can clog the screw-driver insertion site. 

Implant Healing Abutment Vs. Cover Screw

Your implant dentist screws in the healing abutment to support the replacement tooth- bridge, crown, or denture. The screw thread of dental implants is sealed using either a cover screw or a healing abutment.

In a cover screw, a flat head screw gets placed inside to ensure the gum is completely covered. The use of a cover screw enables healing without complications. The cover screw is screwed in deep underneath. 

However, with a cover screw, you will need a surgical intervention to unscrew the cover screw and add a healing abutment. 

With a healing abutment known as gingiva former, a taller screw is inserted into the dental implant. For the permanent abutment and tooth replacement to have a flawless gum contour, the healing abutments shape the gum into the correct form.

The healing abutment readily picks up tartar and plaque. Thorough cleaning with a soft-bristled brush can prevent the buildup of tartar and even bacteria. If there’s a buildup of tartar and bacteria, it leads to inflammation. Inflammation, in turn, leads to dental implant failure.

Healing abutments are best used in scenarios where you have no need for a bone graft or where there is no need for a provisional denture at the surgery’s site. You are also eligible for a healing abutment if you don’t smoke. 


How Long Does A Healing Abutment Stay In?

The healing abutment must stay in for about a week, after which it is removed to avoid bacteria and food being trapped underneath.

Is A Healing Cap And Abutment The Same Thing?

Yes, they are the same thing. They can also be called Gingival Former.

Can You Chew On A Healing Abutment?

Chewing on a healing abutment is not advised as it destabilises the healing cap and can even cause implant failure.

Can I Eat On A Healing Abutment?

Yes, you can eat, but only a soft and liquid diet. Hard food like nuts should be avoided.

How Long After Abutment Do You Get A Crown?

It takes about 3-6 months for you to get a crown. 


Your dental surgeon may decide to use a cover screw or an implant healing abutment. The healing abutment is a sure way to guarantee your successful dental implant treatment. 
My Implant Dentist offers you great quality healing abutment. We also ensure a successful treatment and help restore your aesthetics. Contact us for all dental implant decisions and emergencies.

Written By: Dr Kent Tan
Edited By: Dr Zaheer Kadwa
Reviewed By: Dr Ealin Lee


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Dr. Kent Tan - Author Bio

Dr Kent Tan is the top dental implant and cosmetic treatment expert. On average, he performs 500 to 1000 dental implants yearly, making him one of the most experienced dental implant surgeons in Perth, Western Australia.

Dr Kent is a certified Invisalign provider and has helped many patients achieve straighter teeth with a transparent braces system. In addition, he is skilled in performing a wide range of cosmetic dental treatments such as teeth whitening, dental veneers and bonding.

Dr Kent graduated from the University of Queensland and then went on to lecture in dental implants. He furthered his qualifications by graduating from the Master Clinician Programme in Implant Dentistry in Los Angeles, USA. This additional education allows him to provide his patients with the best possible care.

Customers Review

Mark TaylorMark Taylor
03:15 12 Mar 24
Rob SmithRob Smith
12:33 24 Feb 24
I was at a really low point in my life, had an accident 2 years ago which broke 3 of my teeth and a bridge in between my 2 front top teeth. From that moment I became extremely conscious of going out,socialising and found my self withdrawn and depressed as I didn't know what to do.Then a friend told me about My Implant Dentist. I plucked up the courage and went for my first consultation at Mindarie Quinns dental practice with Dr Zaheer who explained all my options and advised all on 4 top and bottom.Not only Dr Zaheer but all the staff and doctors at both Mindarie and South Perth were amazing and extremely professional and made the whole process seemless.Having the treatment has given me back confidence and enabled me to socalise and do things with my family and friends that I couldn't do before.I would like to thank Dr Zaheer and all the team at My Implant Dentist for everything they have done for me and recommended them to everyone I speak to.I just can't stop smiling!!!
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From the lovely girls at the front desk through to the dentist and his off sider I couldn’t be more happy with the treatment and the service provided. So incredibly satisfied with the end result it’s taken a while but we got there. Thank you so much.
Toby HawkesToby Hawkes
12:19 02 Feb 24
From start to Finnish i felt very comfortable. The whole experience for me was more than just new teeth.For me it was a journey of self discovery that changed my whole life.I found that everyone that I encountered was very professional &friendly &made my experience so pleasant.They deserve more than 5 stars.Thank you so much🥰
Selina HansonSelina Hanson
09:19 01 Feb 24
My experience with My Implant Dentist has been excellent from start to finish. The staff at the front desk were incredibly kind and helpful. The medical treatments throughout were professional and pain free. I would definitely recommend them to anyone considering this service
08:14 30 Jan 24
So grateful to have found this place. I needed a wisdom tooth out. They were able to x-ray and fit me in promptly. Extremely high quality and professional service at an affordable price! I feel lucky to have found an honest and helpful Dentist especially in today's economy. Lovely staff all round. I will be coming here from now on.Thanks again :)
Catalina Te MaroCatalina Te Maro
12:02 21 Nov 23
From the moment I walked in the door My Implant dentist were very caring and professional. As a dental nurse myself I knew I would be a very hard case as other specialists said they could not help me. After my first consultation with Dr Kent he was confident that he could help me and I was provided with a clear plan for my top and bottom all on four procedure. My new teeth are perfect and so natural looking. He has made the impossible possible for me. I can smile and eat the foods I love again and this has changed my life. Thank you so much to all staff and especially Dr Kent Tan who I can say is the best implant dentist in Perth.
Bec SmithBec Smith
11:30 14 Aug 23
I can’t thank the team and dentists at My Implant dentist enough! From the girls working the front desk to the dental nurses assisting the dentist’s, Dr Kent Tan and Dr Ealin. I had the All on four implants and I can’t explain how much this has transformed my life in such a great way.I will always be thankful to be able to have this treatment!Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Adam ByersAdam Byers
02:39 20 Feb 24
Great service and very professional both admin and Dentists
Mussie KirosMussie Kiros
23:09 12 Feb 24
My implant Dentist Mooorooka is an amazing team. The receptionist staff are very welcoming and super lovely to talk to. The dentists are very experienced and knowledgeable. The assistants are very lovely. The service 10/10. Highly recommend!
moonira Bassamoonira Bassa
03:55 25 Nov 23
Dr Zaheer is an amazing dentist, very knowledgeable and very detailed. He’s an amazing dentist. Definitely recommend My Implant Dentist Brisbane
Yacoob BassaYacoob Bassa
03:42 25 Nov 23
Dr Zaheer is an excellent dentist, very experienced and very detailed. Highly recommend My Implant Dentist Brisbane
solomon issaksolomon issak
00:27 18 Nov 23
The receptionist team have been very helpful, helped me organise early super release for my implant treatment. Dr Zaheer is an amazing implant dentist, discussed with me on what type of surgery I needed and have also treated the surgery on me. Dr Reza is very kind. The dental assistants are very friendly. Highly recommend My Implant Dentist Brisbane
Tan Binh NgoTan Binh Ngo
02:59 31 Oct 23
I picked up”Moorooka Dental Care” contact details from the web. I rang for a few questions and the happy voice of Frances had calmed my anxiety down quickly!Dr Kadwa greeted me from the front bench, took me in for the X-ray, dental assessment, carefully explaining the procedure, answered my questions and quoted for the works. He offered to breakdown work items to suit with my needs. The quote was surprisingly very compatible with my previous quote from overseas. (I know I am going to have my dental treatment in the safe zone, most medical advances in Australia).The implant work went smoothly, so smooth that the team had to remind me “Done!”, well beyond my imagination.When he saw me off with the aftercare instructions, I could feel his professional manners with caring characters. I know he has done a few thousand implants but I still received the care of his first. Thanks Zaheer!I requested X-ray images, Fatimatu responded promptly with friendly chatting.I also would like to thank Dr Linh Trần who was in the operation team at the treatment and follow up cares.
Melrey LudivicoMelrey Ludivico
05:10 26 Oct 23
My implant dentist brisbane 5/5. Dr Linh, Dr Zaheer and Dr Reza have been amazing and have looked after me in my procedures. Frances the receptionist was the first person to contact me to get me to come in since I have been looking around. Excellent service and friendly staff
Matthew WinkelmannMatthew Winkelmann
22:33 17 Oct 23
Moorooka dental have been a pleasure to deal with. I did a bit of research into dental implants and most companies had hidden fees. I booked a consult and was contacted within a few hrs to get me in and get the ball rolling. I choose to go with he implants using my super. They helped me to do all the paperwork to release the money. Definitely a good dental clinic.

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