Glossary of Terms
A Prosthesis is the dental restoration that your dentist will make you to replace your missing teeth. It is attached to the dental implant in different ways depending upon the over all design of the restoration. The prosthesis may be removable (You can remove it from your mouth generally to clean it) or Fixed (You cannot remove the proshtesis and it therefore has to be cleaned in your mouth with various oral hygiene aids).
A fixture is another term for a dental implant
An abutment is a piece of dental hardware that connects the dental implant to the prosthetic "tooth".
The restoration is the "teeth". It is the part that the dentist makes up to attach to the implants and replace the missing teeth. It is also referred to as a "prosthesis".
A crown, sometimes called a "cap", is restoration that is used to replace a single tooth. A series of crowns can be used to replace several teeth. They can be made to fit over an existing tooth or attached to a dental implant.
An overdenture is a complete denture that fits over implants or teeth. It is a removable prosthesis that is secured with varying degrees of rigidity.
A Stent is used to determine the best position for the placement of dental implants. Traditionally, the dentist who is doing the restorative phase of the implant procedure (making the "teeth") makes the Stent for the oral surgeon or whoever is placing the implant.
8. FIRST STAGE SURGERY
Implant surgery is very often done in two stages. The first stage of surgery is the actual placement of the dental implants. This is the longest part of the procedure usually taking anywhere from one to three hours.
9. SECOND STAGE SURGERY
After the implant has had time to integrate into your jaw bone (usually three months in the lower jaw and four months in the upper jaw) a second procedure is performed to uncover the dental implant. At this time, a second piece (usually some sort of abutment) is placed in the implant and protrudes through the soft tissues. Second stage surgery is not always necessary.
10. ONE STAGE IMPLANT PLACEMENT
When the implant is placed into the jaw and left exposed through the gum tissue, it is said to be a "one-stage" procedure.
When an implant is placed in a two stage procedure, it usually must be uncovered at a later procedure (second stage surgery). At this point, the implant is "uncovered" and an abutment or some other piece of hardware is attached to the implant and allowed to protrude through the gum tissue.
12. TEMPORARY OR HEALING ABUTMENT
At second stage surgery when the implant is uncovered a plastic or metal piece is attached to the implant to allow for the healing of the soft tissues. This piece is referred to as a temporary or healing abutment. It is eventually replaced by the final abutment and/or final restoration.
13. GINGIVAL HEIGHT
This term refers to the height of the gum tissue around the implant, abutment or restoration.
When you connect two or more teeth or implants, they are said to be splinted...
15. HA COATING
Some implants are coated by the manufacturers with the intention of improving the properties of the implant. One of the coatings is Hydroxyl Apatite referred to simply as "HA". HA can improve the progress of bone healing against the implant but it can also cause some complications that do not occur with implants that do not have this coating. Question your dentist carefully about the use of this coating.
16. IMMEDIATE PLACEMNT
When a tooth is extracted and the implant is placed at the same appointment, it is referred to as "immediate placement" of the implant.
17. IMMEDIATE LOADING
When a dental implant is placed and attached to a prosthesis at the same visit, it is referred to as "Immediate Loading". This is still considered experimental.
18. DELAYED PLACEMENT
If a tooth is extracted and an implant is placed in the healed socket several weeks or months later, it is referred to as "Delayed Placement".
19. DELAYED LOADING
Delayed Loading is when the implant is placed at one point in time and not connected to the restoration for a period of months.
Osseointegration is the term that applies to placing an implant into the jaw bone and allowing the bone to heal to the surface of the implant. This is the mechanism whereby implants work!