My Implant Dentist

South Perth

65 Angelo Street


56 Mornington Parkway


3/10 Mindarie Drive


171 Belmont Avenue


131 Somerville Boulevard

Moorooka (Brisbane)

132 Beaudesert Road

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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