You’ve decided that you’re interested in getting a dental implant to replace your missing tooth, so you visit your dentist to learn more about the procedure. However, during your consultation, the dentist keeps using all kinds of terms that you’re unfamiliar with, and as a result you’re no longer confident that you understand the process enough to make a well-informed decision. To avoid this situation, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the following 5 terms that will likely come up when discussing implants.
1. Endosteal Implant
This is the specific kind of dental implant that dentists are usually referring to when they use the term. An endosteal implant is a small cylinder or screw that is placed directly into the jawbone during surgery so that it can support at least one prosthetic tooth. Eposteal implants (a type of implant that rests on top of the jawbone) are generally considered outdated compared to endosteal implants, which is why the latter kind is used far more often.
This term is likely to come up when your dentist is explaining the recovery process after implant surgery. Osseointegration is a biologic process where existing bone tissue fuses with a dental implant. In other words, the implant will more or less become part of your mouth, giving it much better support and allowing it to stay firmly in place in your mouth.
Dental implants are normally made out of titanium thanks to the metal’s biocompatible properties. Titanium allergies are extremely rare, so it’s unlikely that you’ll experience complications after the surgery. The metal is very lightweight, meaning it won’t put an unnecessary amount of strain on your jawbone. It’s also extremely strong and can easily withstand the forces of biting and chewing that your implant will be exposed to on a daily basis.
While less common than titanium, zirconia is also sometimes used to make implants. It’s generally recommended for those that do happen to be allergic to metal. It can be better for gum health, as the lack of prosthetic connections means there’s less of a risk of bacteria growth.
In addition to the dental implant post and an appropriate restoration such as a crown, bridge, or denture, you will also receive an abutment. This is a connector that will either be built directly into the implant itself or attached at a later time. The abutment is what will hold the restoration in place once it’s ready.
If you still have questions about implants or some of the terminology connected to them, call your implant dentist today.
About Bethel Dental
At Bethel Dental, our dentists will do all they can to help you feel welcome, relaxed, and informed. We provide implant placement and restoration under one roof, and we only use the highest quality materials for long-lasting results. We’re always happy to answer any questions you have about the process of getting new teeth; you can get in touch with us through our website.