Are you missing one, a few, or an entire arch of teeth? If so, then you may be considering dental implants to restore your smile. After all, they have an impressive 95% success rate, are unmatched in durability, and are the only restorative treatment option that can stimulate your jawbone and prevent it from deteriorating. However, it can be difficult to know what to expect throughout the process if your dentist is using unfamiliar terms that make it sound like they are speaking a different language! Read on to learn the five terms you should know about dental implants.
#1. Abutment and Abutment Teeth
An abutment is an attachment that connects the replacement tooth to the implant. This serves as an anchor for the substitute tooth, crown, or bridge so it stays firmly in place. Therefore, the abutment teeth are the adjacent teeth that support the structure.
#2. Endosteal Implant
Often, patients use “dental implants” as an all-encompassing term. However, there are different types that your dentist may recommend depending on your needs. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the endosteal implant is the most common one! In this case, your dentist will surgically insert small screws, plates, blades, or cylinders into the jawbone to hold at least one prosthetic tooth in place.
#3. Eposteal Implant
The eposteal implant obtains support by resting directly on the jawbone. While this method is not frequently used today, it is an alternative to consider for patients who are at-risk of advanced bone resorption.
#4. Subperiosteal Implant
The last option for patients is subperiosteal implants. In this scenario, the metal framework protrudes through the gums to hold the prosthetic tooth (or teeth) in place. Again, this is not as commonly used as endosteal implants, but it is an option to consider for patients who have minimal bone height or are unable to wear conventional dentures.
Osseointegration refers to the process of the implant and the bone fusing. It is because of this biological development that dental implants can stimulate the jawbone, prevent it from deteriorating, and provide patients with unparalleled durability.
Fully understanding the process of transitioning to dental implants can be confusing if you are unfamiliar with the common terms. Fortunately, you can use the above information to better understand the components of this popular restorative procedure!
About the Author
Since completing her Doctor of Dental Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, Dr. Megan A. Shelton continues to emphasize the importance of education by completing numerous continuing education hours each year. She is also an active member of multiple reputable organizations, including the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, the American Dental Association, and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (to name a few!). If you are looking for an implant dentist to restore your smile, bite, or speech, visit her website or give her a call at 760-388-6773.