“I just talked to my periodontist about dental implants and I feel much better, because I didn’t understand what he was saying…” said no one ever! If you’re about the get dental implants in Worcester, then it’s important for you to have some familiarity with the procedure. Research shows that patients with a simple understanding of any medical or dental procedure are more relaxed and confident. With that in mind, here is a list of words associated with dental implants and the process of implantation.
Do you know what a dental implant really is? It’s a medical device that a periodontist surgically embeds in your jawbone. Once in place, the implant secures a porcelain crown, a denture or a bridge. Most periodontists today use endosteal dental implants, meaning they are in the bone. The other option is subperiosteal—on the bone—implants that are part of a metal framework with posts that extend above your gums.
An abutment is the small attachment that connects the implant to the crown, bridge or denture. Your periodontist will either build it into the implant or secure it on top. With this, the dental prosthesis is secured in place.
Titanium is the metal that is used for most implants. It is also used in other surgical procedures such as hip and knee replacement, because it is strong and lightweight, non-allergic and integrates well with bone tissue.
Zirconia is another type of material used for implants. It is white in color and reduces the risk of bacteria growth around the prosthetic.
Dental implants can also be made of ceramic, which is a clay-based material. As such, ceramic is usually white or ivory, so it may be preferable to metal implants for some patients. In addition, for someone who is allergic to metal, ceramic implants offer a viable solution.
Osseointegration combines Greek and Latin words that mean bone (osseo) and integration, or to make whole. This is a process that takes place over the course of a few months while you heal from the surgery to place your implants. Basically, the implanted post and surrounding bone tissue fuse together to create a bond similar to that between a natural tooth root and your jawbone.
These terms should allow you to have a knowledgeable conversation about dental implants. If you have more questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact a periodontist in Worcester today.
Meet the Periodontists
Dr. Handsman and Dr. Jenny are periodontists in Worcester. Both are trained and skilled in the entire dental implant procedure including surgery and final placement of the tooth restoration. Call to schedule an appointment today.