October 1, 2017
“It’s all Greek to me.” If you’re about to have a conversation with your dentist about dental implants, then that phrase should not be what comes to mind. Instead, you should know the dental jargon your dentist uses so that you understand exactly what happens during a dental implant procedure. Here’s a list of words you’ll need in order to carry on a knowledgeable conversation that provides information and will probably make you less apprehensive about the procedure.
These are probably the most important words in the conversation, but do you know what a dental implant is actually? A dental implant is a medical device that the dentist, oral surgeon or periodontist surgically embeds in your jawbone. Once in place, the implant secures a dental prosthesis, which can be a porcelain crown, a denture or a bridge. Most dentists today use endosteal dental implants, meaning they are in the bone. The other option is subperiosteal—on the bone—implants that are part of a metal framework with posts that extend above your gums.
According to the dictionary, an abutment is that part of a structure that receives thrust or pressure. In the case of a dental implant, the abutment is the link between the implanted post and your prosthesis. The abutment cushions biting pressure and holds a crown, bridge or denture firmly in place.
Well, that’s a mouthful. Osseointegration combines Greek and Latin words that mean bone (osseo) and integration, or to make whole. This is a process that takes place over the course of a few months while you heal from the surgery to place your implants. Essentially, the implanted post and surrounding bone tissue fuse together to create a bond similar to that between a natural tooth root and your jaw.
Titanium is the metal that is used for most implants. It is also used in other surgical procedures such as hip and knee replacement, because it is strong and lightweight, non-allergic and integrates well with bone tissue.
Some implants are made of zirconia, which is white and reduces the risk of bacterial growth around the prosthetic and implant.
Dental implants can also be made of ceramic, which is a clay-based material. As such, ceramic is usually white or ivory, so it may be preferable to metal implants for some patients. In addition, for someone who is allergic to metal, ceramic implants offer a viable solution.
Hopefully, these definitions will help you have a knowledgeable conversation with your dentist before your receive dental implants. For additional questions, contact your dentist.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. James Block is a general and cosmetic dentist. He has restored many smiles with dental implants in Freemont and would be glad to discuss them as a tooth replacement option for you. Call our office today.
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