Have you recently taken the leap to replace your missing teeth with dental implants? Congratulations, you’re choosing the longest-lasting and most reliable tooth replacement currently available! As you begin the treatment process, though, you might notice your dentist and their team throwing around confusing words that you’ve never heard before. You deserve to know exactly what they mean. After all, it’s your smile they’re talking about! To help you decode your dentist, read this simple guide to some dental implant terms you should know.
A dental implant itself is a small post that your dentist surgically places into your jaw. It’s actually the only tooth replacement that brings back the root of a missing tooth – the part that’s hidden underneath your gums. Other tooth replacements, like dentures and dental bridges, simply sit atop the gums, so they don’t provide the longevity, stability, and reliability that dental implants do.
You may have heard people discuss this metal before, but not in the context of dental implants. There are many reasons why the vast majority of dental implant posts are made from titanium, including:
- Even patients with allergies or sensitivities to metal almost never have negative reactions to titanium implants.
- Titanium is lightweight but strong, so it won’t place excessive pressure on your mouth and jaw.
- Because titanium is biocompatible, the implants can fuse to the jawbone to form a foundation for your new teeth that can last for decades, if not a lifetime.
This word is derived from the Greek and Latin words meaning “bone” and “to make whole.” Osseointegration is the process of a dental implant post merging with the surrounding bone and tissue after being placed in the jaw. This process occurs naturally due to the biocompatible properties of the implant posts.
An abutment is a metal connector piece that your dentist attaches to the top of your dental implant after it has integrated with your jawbone. It serves as the anchor that will keep your replacement teeth in place.
A restoration is a dental crown, bridge, or denture that is secured on top of an abutment to complete the visible portions of your missing teeth. These new pearly whites are made of materials, like ceramic, that can be customized to complement your facial features and create a flawlessly natural appearance.
Now that you have a better idea of what your dentist is talking about, feel free to ask them any questions you may still have about dental implants. You have the right to know what’s happening to your smile!
About the Author
Dr. Rodger Song is a highly skilled implant dentist in Flower Mound, TX with 30 years of experience in the field of dentistry. Over the course of his career, he has completed extensive continuing education courses, enough to become a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry. His advanced training also includes the surgical placement of dental implants, so he can perform every step of the process under one roof at Bridlewood Dental. If you’d like Dr. Song to answer any of your dental implant questions, contact his office at 972-906-9797.