What is a dental attachment?

An attachment is a connector that is formed of 2 or more parts. One part is connected to a root, tooth, or implant and the other part to a prosthesis. There are certain exceptions as some attachments have only one manufactured part and the other part must be made by the dentist or the dental technician.

Attachments can be divided into two categories: Precision and Semi-Precision. We will examine both of them prior to attachment consideration.

Precision Attachments

Precision attachments are just that - "precision". Their components are machined in special metal alloys under precise tolerances. These tolerances are within 0.01 mm. Since the specific hardness of the alloys is controlled, precision attachments offer the advantage of less wear on the abutments, and standard parts which allows the components to be interchangeable, and usually easier to repair when necessary.
Semi-Precision Attachments

A semi-precision attachment is fabricated by the direct casting of plastic, wax, or refractory patterns. Most semi-precision attachment patterns are injection molded to reduce the overall cost. They are considered "semi-precision" since in their fabrication they are subject to inconsistent water/powder rations, burn out temperatures, and other variables. The resulting components therefore, vary to a small degree.

Their main advantages are: economy, easy fabrication and ability to be cast in a wide choice of alloys without the problem of co efficiency differences between the cast alloy and the machine alloy.