Did you know that almost 40% of dental abutment (crown/bridge) components are swapped out and replaced with "compatible" components?

And did you know that the main reason dental implants get complications is due to these ill-fitting compatible components?

As you may be aware, dental implants are made up of 2 main pieces:

  1. Dental Implant (screw in jaw), and

  2. Dental Abutment (attaches the crown/bridge to the implant)

dental implant.jpg

The dental implant component is surgically installed first.

Most of the time, a genuine, high quality implant is used.

Once the implant has healed, Patients are ready to have their abutment and crown/bridge attached. For this to occur, they either:

  • Return to the same Dental Professional who placed the implant,

  • Are sent back to their referring Dental Professional (general Dentist), or

  • Are required to see a Specialist (e.g. Prosthodontist) 

This next step is where most problems arise!



The dental abutment component can either be a high quality, genuine component, or can be a "compatible" component (which doesn't have the same fit as the original)

compatible image.jpeg

This highlights the difference in fit between the original abutment (left), and the "compatible" components (middle and right)

ill fitting dental implants.png

Another example showing the fit of a genuine abutment and "compatible" component. The blue circles show genuine component (correct fit) vs red circles showing swapped out component (loose fit).

To put it plainly, it would be like owning a Toyota car, and having the steering wheel switched out for a Haval steering wheel. It might fit, but it certainly won't perform as well (or as safely) as the Toyota steering wheel.

Unknown to the Patient, and sometimes even your Dentist, the Laboratory who makes the dental abutment switches out the requested, high quality genuine components for "compatible" componentry instead.

The main question people will ask is why?

The most common answer is: to save money!

Unfortunately, this isn't as simple as you would expect. A lot of these switches are done without anyone knowing but the Lab team. The industry is flooded with complaints by Dentists to their labs when they discover their parts are being swapped out, without asking, and it's often the Labs that keep the savings! All to the detriment of Patients and their treating Dentists!

Nobel Biocare customer service response.png

The above communication was regarding a failed dental implant case

A patients' implant had failed due to a poor quality (substituted) abutment component being attached to it, unbeknownst to the Dentist.

When the Dentist sent the Manufacturer the abutment as part of the warranty case (to help save the patient repair costs), the Manufacturer informed the Dentist that the abutment component wasn't theirs, thus voiding the warranty on the dental implant as well

Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence at all, and begs the question, who's at fault for these cases, as the pain AND costs for repair work typically fall back on the patient!

Below is a case that showed by simply replacing the compatible (poor quality) abutment with a genuine (high quality) abutment made a huge improvement to the affected (swollen) area

switching abutment parts.png

Please note, there are times when abutments are required to be swapped out for different parts (high quality parts though), for example:

  • It's a unique case that requires a custom made (high quality) abutment,  or

  • A patient has specifically asked for costs to be kept low, and it has been discussed with and approved by the patient to switch out the part for a cheaper alternative (which may lead to higher chances of complications in the future)



The best thing you can do to help protect yourself against future complications like this occurring, and to confirm you got what you paid for, is to ask your dentist what components they used. Or better yet, ask your dentist to register your components on the Dental Implant Registry (DIR)

By having your components registered on the DIR, YOU get transparent and instant access to your own information. This also helps for any future treatment, as you can show your treating dentist (e.g. if you change in the future) the exact components you have to make sure they use the right tools for you!

Please watch the 2 video links below to discover more about the DIR, and why it's so important for you to have access to your own information (and that it's your right to have access to your own records)

What is the DIR?

Importance of Having Access to your own Implant Records

To have your dental implants registered on the DIR, simply contact our team using the form below and we'll assist you!

Please note, generally there is a cost involved in registering your implant components on the DIR. However, our team are happy to waive this cost for any retrospective registrations, so this is all done at no cost!

Please be aware, if your information is no longer available from your Dentists/Practice, the DIR will be unable to register your components. Patient information is required by Australian regulations to be kept for up to 7 years so any data older than that may not be available.

For more information, please contact the DIR team below



Thanks for submitting!