The labial plate is the surface of the gums and teeth that face the inside of the upper and lower lips and inside the cheek. Since this is the part of the gums that are most easily seen by people when someone smiles, people have a strong desire that the labial plate be aesthetically pleasing. This is something that must be considered when discussing a dental implant in the front area of the mouth. Calculating the density of the labial plate bone is important when determining if an implant can be placed in the labial plate or if a bone graft will be necessary. If the labial plate is not dense enough, it cannot anchor an implant. For aesthetic purposes, many periodontists use a flapless procedure on dental implants in the labial plate, so it’s extremely difficult if not impossible to tell that a dental implant was done.
A laboratory analog is a replica of an implant, abutment, or attachment mechanism, usually incorporated within a cast for a prosthetic reconstruction. The analog provides a replica which shows the exact position of a patient’s implant. It is made by taking an impression of the patient’s teeth and implants and using that impression to create a copy which exactly shows the anatomy of the implant as it exists in the patient’s mouth. This allows a dental professional to build the prosthesis and properly place the abutments. The use of a laboratory analog can cut down on error involving the placement of implants and implant abutments. There is software available, such as an analog lab app, which can aid in the process of creating a replica. In addition, the use of the lab 3 manual will provide technicians with the instructions needed to properly utilize the software.
A screw is the part of a dental implant that screws into the jawbone to anchor the abutment and the bridge or crown. There are two different types of screws: lab screws, or laboratory screws, and gold screws. A lab screw is generally considered stronger than a gold screw and can withstand excessive force. Gold screws, however, mold to the patient’s jawbone over time since gold is somewhat malleable for a metal. When force is applied, gold screws will slightly change their shape to accommodate the pressure. Laboratory screws are not the industry-recommended method for anchoring dental implants, so it’s important to double-check the warranties on other implant components and make sure they are not rendered invalid by using a lab screw. Because gold screws are created to fail when excess force is applied instead of breaking the implant, gold screws can protect the implant better than lab screws.