9 Terms You Need to Know About Dental Implants in Tracy

9 Terms You Need to Know About Dental Implants in Tracy

If you are missing one or more teeth, your dentist may have recommended that you get dental implants. You sort of understand what they are, but whenever the dentist talks to you about them, it sounds like they are speaking a foreign language! Since implant procedures are permanent, it’s important for you to actually know what’s going to happen. That’s why we’ve put together this list of key terms you should know about dental implants in Tracy.

Anatomy of a Dental Implant

First and foremost, it’s important to know what exactly a dental implant is. After all, it’s going to become part of your anatomy. Dental implants consist of 3 parts:

  • Implant: A metal post that is inserted into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth. It gradually fuses to the jawbone in a process called osseointegration. It provides stimulation to the jawbone through biting and chewing in the same way as a natural tooth root. Implants are the only tooth replacement option that do this. Dentures and bridges do not stimulate the jawbone, and they also are not designed to be permanent like implants are.
  • Abutment: A connecting device built into or attached to the top of the implant. It allows the restoration, or crown, to attach to the implant.
  • Crown: Also known as a cap, a crown is placed over an implant to make it look and feel exactly like a natural tooth. They are typically made of dental porcelain, or porcelain bonded to metal.

What Materials Make Up Dental Implants

Dental implants are made up of one of three materials:

  • Titanium: Most implants are composed of titanium. It’s lightweight but strong, reducing the weight on your jawbone.
  • Zirconia: If a patient has an allergy to titanium, they might opt for a zirconium implant. They are white in color, so they more closely resemble a natural tooth.
  • Ceramic: Patients with an allergy to all metals are not out of luck, as they can receive a ceramic implant. Like zirconium, it can also come in a color similar to that of a natural tooth.

Different Types of Dental Implants

There are 3 different structures that dental implants can take:

  • Endosteal implant: This is the most common type of implant. A dentist will place tiny screws directly into the jawbone through surgery.
  • Eposteal implant: This implant rests directly on the jawbone. Often seen as outdated, this method is not frequently implemented in modern dentistry. However, if a patient has a high risk of bone resorption, or deterioration, an eposteal implant may be used.
  • Subperiosteal implant: In a subperiosteal implant, the posts of the metal framework hold the prosthetic tooth or teeth in place. If a patient is unable to wear dentures, a dentist might use this type of implant.

Now implants don’t seem so scary and foreign, do they? If you still need more information about implants, be sure to ask your dentist.

About the Author

Dr. Tejdeep Rattan earned a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from Wright State University. He was working with dentists on designing implant and was fascinated by dentistry. He then pursued a doctorate from NYU’s College of Dentistry. He was also a U.S. Army soldier and dentist. To learn more about how he can help create the perfect dental implant for you, click here or call 209-207-9076.