Dental implants are considered today’s gold standard of tooth replacement. They are the most permanent solution for missing teeth, helping patients eat, speak, and smile with complete confidence once again! If you’re interested in this method, the first step on your journey is a dental implant consultation with your dentist. At this visit, they may throw around some confusing words. Luckily, we’ve created a guide of dental implant terms you should know so you can understand the process.
A dental implant (or fixture) is a medical device that is surgically inserted into the jawbone. It’s designed to support a dental prosthesis, such as a bridge, crown, or denture. Once the implant fuses securely to the jawbone through a process called osseointegration, it will provide durable and stable results that will last several years – sometimes for an entire lifetime!
The abutment is a connector that your dentist builds into or will attach to the top of your dental implant. It serves as an anchor for the final restoration (i.e., crown, bridge, denture) and holds it firmly in place.
A crown, also known as a cap, encases an entire tooth. If you have ever lost or broken a tooth because of infection, decay, or injury, you’re probably familiar with these restorations. They cover a single tooth to protect it against further decay or damage. However, they can also be attached to the abutment of a dental implant.
Dentures are the most traditional solution for missing teeth. Although they’re effective, most patients don’t have the same success with dentures as with dental implants. Some dentures can be removed daily for cleaning and storage, while others are attached permanently to the mouth (i.e., implant-supported dentures).
This natural process is what allows a dental implant to fuse with the existing bone, providing stable and long-lasting results. The term comes from Greek and Latin words meaning “bone” and “to make whole”.
Most modern dental implants are made of titanium because it has several advantages. For example, very few people are allergic to the metal, it’s lightweight but strong, and it can ossify with the jawbone. It’s the ideal material for dental implants.
For those who are allergic to titanium, zirconia is an excellent alternative. Zirconia implants have no prosthetic connections, so the risk of bacteria growth is much lower. Since the material is white, it provides more natural-looking results. Plus, patients who opt for this type of implant tend to experience better gum health as well!
Are you ready for your dental implant consultation? With this guide, you’ll be able to decode the language your dentist uses and fully understand the process for a beautiful, fully functioning smile!
About the Practice
At Danville Dental Associates, we offer truly comprehensive, individually tailored, high-quality services that are guaranteed to exceed even your highest expectations. Our team will go above and beyond to help you achieve a smile you’ll proudly show off. If you have missing teeth, we can replace them with dental implants. To start your journey, visit our website or call our office and schedule a consultation.