Modern technology for replacing tooth loss has come a long way since your grandma’s dentures. Whether you need one tooth replaced or an entire arch of teeth, dental implants are a long-lasting, permanent tooth replacement option. These prosthetic teeth are made from acrylic/resin that mimics the look of natural teeth. And they are sometimes combined with a bone graft so that they look and function like a natural tooth.
If you’re considering dental implants as a treatment option, you’re in good company. Around 500,000 people get dental implants every year to help them discreetly treat tooth loss. Dental implants work for patients of all ages, suffering from tooth loss for many different reasons. Injury, illness, tooth decay, periodontal disease, and much more cause patients to prematurely lose teeth. This type of tooth loss can make it difficult to eat, lower self-esteem, and even physically change facial features without the tooth present.
Get Familiar with Dental Implant Terminology
Before you sit down in your dentist’s office to talk about dental implant treatments, get a head start on understanding your options by taking a look at some unfamiliar words that may come up. While your dentist will do their best to help you understand the treatment options, you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you’re prepared.
Abutment: An abutment is a piece that attaches to a dental implant to facilitate placement.
Bridge: A series of replacement teeth that are attached to a dental implant or natural adjacent teeth.
Dental Crown: An artificial tooth, usually made from porcelain, that caps or covers an implant to provide a functional, aesthetically pleasing tooth.
Dental Implant: An artificial tooth root that is grafted to your jaw bone for the purpose of holding a replacement tooth or bridge.
Endosteal: A specific type of dental implant that is placed in the alveolar and basal bone of the mandible, transcending only one cortical plate.
Eposteal: A type of dental implant that conforms to whichever edentulous surface is superior.
Implant-Supported Bridge: A dental bridge that is placed with the support of a dental implant (artificial tooth root) to create a sturdy set of teeth.
Osseointegration: The process of naturally fusing a titanium dental implant with the surrounding bone. Osseointegration occurs over a period of several months after the implant is placed.
Periodontal: The literal meaning is “around the tooth.”
Resorption: When there are no tooth roots present to stimulate the jaw bone, the body absorbs calcium from the jaw instead of other areas in the body.
Transosteal: A type of dental implant that features threaded posts to penetrate the superior and inferior cortical one plates of the jaw.
The Takeaway on Dental Implants
Dental implants are the modern-day alternative to dentures. They provide a permanent option for placing prosthetic teeth by grafting artificial tooth roots to the jaw bone. Where and how the implant will be used determines what type of implant is used. Some implants are specifically designed for supporting a bridge while others can support an entire arch, such as All-on-4. If you’re facing tooth loss, a dental implant is a great option for almost every patient. Contact us today to learn more.