Abutment

An abutment is an end support of a bridge superstructure.

Abutments are used for the following purposes:
* to transmit the reaction of superstructure to the foundations.
* to retain the earth filling.
* to connect the superstructure to the approach roads.

An abutment is also, generally, the point where two structures or objects meet.

Specifically, an abutment may be:

* the part of a structure that supports an arch.
* the tooth or teeth that support a fixed or removable bridge.
* the part of an implant that acts as an connection between the implant and the crown.

Abutment is also a term used by civil engineers in dam construction; moving water from a large reservoir to a channel such as a spillway, there are smooth transition walls at both sides named abutments which minimize the water's energy loss.Prosthetic and Implant Dentistry

Abutment is also the term for a connecting element used to attach prosthetics to a dental implant that is Osseointegrated. These are susually called prosthetic implant abutments. These abutments can be made from a variety of materials, such as titanium, surgical stainless steel and gold. More modern abutments care now also made from zirconia, which is a white ceramic, to better complement the esthetics of a dental implant restoration. The two images to the right show a ceramic abutment and the ceramic crown bonded to it.

Prosthetic abutments are connected to the dental implants via a screw. This screw needs to be tightened to a predetermined torque, in order to avoid screw loosening during the masticatory cycle. Occlusal masitcatory forces can often create a counter-clockwise torque on the implant-abutment interface, encouraging the abutment screw to come loose. This can largely be prevented with proper screw design and torquing of the abutment.

The images to the right show how a cermic abutment can enhance a ceramic crown by giving it a more life-like appearance. Ceramic abutments have to be used with care,howver, since their compressive strength is nowhere near that of titanium, gold or other noble metals. Most clinicians feel more comfortable using a metal prosthetic abutment in the posterior molar areas, due to the increased masticatory forces present in these areas.


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  • abutment — abut·ment /ə bət mənt/ n: the place at which abutting occurs at the abutment of two properties Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. abutment …   Law dictionary

  • Abutment — A*but ment ([.a]*b[u^]t ment), n. 1. State of abutting. [1913 Webster] 2. That on or against which a body abuts or presses; as (a) (Arch.) The solid part of a pier or wall, etc., which receives the thrust or lateral pressure of an arch, vault, or …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • abutment — (n.) 1640s, from ABUT (Cf. abut) + MENT (Cf. ment). Originally any junction; the architectural usage is attested from 1793 (the notion is of the meeting place of the arches of a bridge, etc.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • abutment — pier, *buttress …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • abutment — [n] masonry mass arch end, bridge end, end piece, jutting piece, support, vault end; concepts 745,827,833 …   New thesaurus

  • abutment — [ə but′mənt] n. 1. the act or an instance of abutting 2. something that abuts or borders upon something else 3. the point of contact between a support and the thing supported 4. a) that part of a support which carries the weight of an arch and… …   English World dictionary

  • abutment — ramtas statusas Aprobuotas sritis statyba apibrėžtis Betoninio arba gelžbetoninio hidrotechnikos statinio vandens įtekėjimo, pratekėjimo ir ištekėjimo dalių šoninė siena, susiejanti vandens tėkmės zoną su greta esančia žemės užtvanka ir krantu… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • abutment — noun Date: 1644 1. the place at which abutting occurs 2. the part of a structure (as an arch or a bridge) that directly receives thrust or pressure …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • abutment — /euh but meuhnt/, n. 1. Archit., Civ. Eng. a. a masonry mass supporting and receiving the thrust of part of an arch or vault. b. a force that serves to abut an arch or vault. c. a mass, as of masonry, receiving the arch, beam, truss, etc., at… …   Universalium

  • abutment — noun /əˈbʌtmənt/ a) The state of abutting. b) Something that abuts …   Wiktionary


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