After dealing with your missing teeth for years, you’ve finally decided that you’re not going to take it anymore. You call your implant dentist, schedule a consultation, and feel amazing after doing so. Pretty soon you’re going to be eating a beautiful steak with no problem. That is, until you realize that you don’t know anything about dental implants.
During the consultation, the dentist will do everything they can to make the implant process simple to understand. However, it always helps to read about it beforehand too. Here are a few key terms to know about.
When thinking about implants, imagine them as prosthetic roots. When a tooth falls out, it’s not the only part that’s coming out. It’s also taking the roots of your tooth with it. The roots are responsible for blood flow and bone stimulation. It is this part that the implant will literally replace. An implant can support a crown, a bridge, or an entire denture, which we’ll go over soon.
This is the connector between the restoration and the implant itself. After the implant has fully healed and integrated with your jaw, your implant dentist will place the connector on top, which then undergoes it’s own, shorter healing process. Once it’s healed, the crown will have a place to live, keeping it firmly in place.
The crown (or cap) is the restoration that goes on top of the connector. Crowns are made of high-quality dental porcelain, which looks the most natural next to the rest of your teeth. It reflects light very similarly to natural teeth and no one will notice that you have dental implants because of its appearance.
This is the process in which the implant effectively bonds with the bone inside your jaw. Without this process, dental implants wouldn’t be possible, so it’s extremely important that you practice proper oral care and avoid tobacco products at all costs while this process occurs.
This is the most commonly used implant in modern dentistry. It’s made up of cylinders, blades, small screws, plates and is most likely the implant you’ll be receiving. Other types of implants include eposteal, which is when the implant sits directly on the jawbone.
With just a handful of implants, your implant dentist can replace both arches using these devices. By strategically placing them throughout your jaw, he can take average dentures and design them to connect to your implants. This method is ideal if you wore dentures previously.
Titanium and Zirconia
Implants are typically made of titanium because of it’s biocompatible properties. This basically means your body won’t reject them when the integration and healing process begins. Of course, if you have any type of allergy to titanium, zirconia can also be used.
Have more questions about implant parts or the dental implant process? You can ask your dentist at your scheduled consultation or next routine checkup!
About the Author
Dr. Tim Stirneman earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Creighton University Dental School. After graduating, he went on to earn 120 hours of dental implant training. To learn more about his practice, contact him at (847) 915-3080 or visit his website.