Learning the Lingo – Dental Implants
Dental implants are a safe and effective replacement for a missing tooth or teeth. The implant is placed in your jawbone and integrates with your natural bone. This implant then forms a stable, sturdy base for your new teeth.
What They Are
• Implant: The implant itself is a rod that is screwed into the jawbone.
• Abutment: This is the connection between the implant and the crown.
• Crown: A tooth shaped cap that is attached to the abutment. It is the part of the tooth that is visible above the gum line.
What They’re Made Of
• Titanium: Most implants are typically made of titanium, a biocompatible metal.
• Zirconia: Often used for crowns and bridges and can be used as a metal-free option. Zirconia is biocompatible just like titanium.
Where They Go
• Endosteal Implants: Placed in the jawbone. These implants are typically shaped like small screws, cylinders or plates, and they are the most commonly used.
• Subperiosteal Implants: Placed under the gum, but on or above the jawbone. These implants are mostly for people with smaller jaws or shallow jawbones.
What Happens To Them
• Osseointegration: Creates strength and durability by fusing directly to the bone and is bio-compatible. Bone cells attach themselves directly to the titanium/zirconium surface, essentially locking the implant into the jaw bone. Osseointegrated implants can then be used to support prosthetic tooth replacements of various designs and functionality. Anything from a single tooth, to all teeth in the upper and lower jaws. The teeth/crowns are usually made to match the enamel color of the existing teeth to create a natural appearance.
• Bone augmentation: Some people do not have enough healthy bone to support dental implants, so bone must be built. Procedures can include bone-grafting which means adding bone to the jaw.
Talk to us today at Monte K. Zysset, Oral and Facial Surgery of Nebraska and Center for Dental Implants to discuss your options with an implant specialist!
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