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Micro-gap

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Micro-gap is the term used to describe the very small gap between two bodies joined firmly together.
The term has acquired a special meaning in the field of dentistry when it is associated with root canal treatments, fillings, and implants. Wherever there are small gaps between fillings or there are cracked or loose fillings, the danger of bacterial invasion and subsequent inflammation such as periodontitis and/or secondary caries increases.
What does micro-gap mean in regard to implants? Implants are artificial roots that are anchored to the bone by an abutment, a connecting element between the implant and the crown. The currently used connection between an implant and its abutment is a push-fit type of connection that leaves a virtually imperceptible gap, called a micro-gap, between the implant and the abutment. This micro-gap plays a key role in implantology. The gap may be occupied by bacteria, and the dentist can detect this only by an unpleasant smell evident while cleaning the abutment. In order to keep bacteria at bay, some dentists apply one of various antibiotic ointments to the implant before fixing the abutment.
Tight sealing of a tooth also plays an important role in root canal treatments. But the best root canal treatment is useless if the tooth receives a filling that is not tight, because this can lead to bone inflammation after several years.
Every good filling should prevent bacterial invasion and the consequent possibility of secondary caries; therefore, there should always be a tight seal between the tooth and the filling. This happens only to a certain extent because many factors such as pressure, temperature changes, and saliva cause microscopic cracks and gaps in most materials soon after placement. The patient first feels the pain when the caries reaches the dental nerve (pulp); root canal treatment is required at this stage as it is too late for a filling. Fillings should therefore be checked regularly. If one wants to perfect his/her cleaning technique, it is worth investing in dental materials that hardly or never alter in the oral cavity, such as gold, titanium, and/or ceramics.

Micro-gap