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Glossary of Dental Implants

Allograft bone
Allograft bone is bone obtained from human cadavers.

Autograft bone
Autograft bone is bone obtained from the same person but from a different location.

Bone graft
Bone graft is a surgical procedure in which various particles or blocks of synthetic or natural materials are used to encourage natural bone growth in places where bone is needed. Bone grafts can be done either at the time of tooth extraction (socket grafts) or after extractions for ridge augmentation.

Bovine bone
Bovine bone is bone that is derived from cow bone (usually demineralized).

Cover screw
A cover screw serves to seal off and close the implant mouth during the healing process between the first and second stages of two-stage surgery.

Custom abutment
Custom abutments are abutments that are made for a specific case by a laboratory. It usually costs more and takes longer for a custom abutment to be fabricated. However, some situations can only be satisfied with custom abutments.

Dental abutment
A dental abutment is a component that attaches the dental prosthesis to the dental implant. Most of the abutments are made up of titanium alloys, but occasionally zirconium abutments are used for improved esthetics.

Dental implant
A dental implant is a root form piece of mostly titanium that is placed in the jawbone to anchor either a single tooth or multiple teeth to it. A dental implant used to be in different shapes and forms, but for decades now, the screw form of the dental implant has proven to be most reliable. Although 99.9% of the dental implants in the world are made up of titanium alloys, there is a small percentage of implants that are made up of zirconium. Zirconium dental implants are more expensive to buy, take longer to integrate, and are harder to restore – hence their limited usage.

Dental prosthesis
A dental prosthesis is a piece of artificial tooth or number of teeth that are made to replace lost natural teeth or other defects in the mouth (also called dental restoration).

Fixed prosthesis
A fixed prosthesis is a form of artificial tooth or combination of teeth that are not removable by the patient. A dental bridge or a crown are examples of a fixed prosthesis.

FRIDGE is a dental prosthesis that is fixed for the patient but easily removable by the dentist. It uses friction grip principles to achieve this feature.

GBR (guided bone regeneration)
GBR is the process in which either a non-resorbable or resorbable material is used to hold the bone graft material in position during the healing process.

GTR (guided tissue regeneration)
GTR is the process by which certain resorbable or non-resorbable materials are used to guide the formation of soft tissue in the mouth wound.

Healing cap
A healing cap is a type of tissue former that is placed on the implant either at the time of placement or during the second stage of a two-stage surgery to help shape the gum around the restoration.

Hybrid prosthesis
A hybrid prosthesis is a prosthesis that has both a fixed component and a removable component. This type of prosthesis is being replaced by newer technology and is used very rarely these days. A titanium bar with attachments under a denture is an example of a hybrid prosthesis.

Immediate implant loading
Immediate implant loading is when the implant is used to support a tooth or teeth immediately after placement. Depending on the situation, every implant can be immediately loaded.

Immediate implant placement
Immediate implant placement is when the implant is placed at the same time that the tooth is extracted. Usually, additional skill and time is required to secure the implant in the freshly extracted tooth socket. The ultimate outcome of this method is not any different from the regular placement methods.

An overdenture is a partial or complete denture that is secured in place with a remaining natural root or an implant. Overdentures are typically removable prostheses with two to four remaining teeth or implants attached to the denture. Nowadays, it’s more likely for overdentures to be made over implants than preserved natural roots.

Osseointegration is the phenomena in which bone grows onto the implant surface and anchors the implant in the bone.

Removable prosthesis
A removable prosthesis is a single tooth or more likely, a combination of teeth that are removable by the patient. A partial denture or a complete denture are examples of a removable prosthesis.

Screw-retained denture
A screw-retained denture is a type of fixed prosthesis where the teeth are screwed on four to eight implants. This type of prosthesis is very cumbersome to make and hence very expensive.

Single-stage implant surgery
A single-stage implant surgery is when the implant is placed in the bone and the tissue former (either a healing cap or abutment) is placed at the same time.

Sinus lift or sinus augmentation
Sinus lift or sinus augmentation is a surgical procedure that is used to elevate the floor of the sinus to make space for dental implant placement. The procedure is completely safe and painless when performed properly.

Stent/surgical guide
A stent/surgical guide is a tool that is fabricated by the dentist or an outside laboratory to accurately guide the direction and depth of implant placement.

Stock abutment
A stock abutment is an abutment that is predesigned for optimal shape and position. Newer implant systems have stock abutments that can be modified by the dentist for ideal use.

Tissue former
A tissue former is a part that is used either at the time of implant placement or in the second stage surgery to shape the formation of soft tissue to receive the prosthesis. Abutments and healing caps are used as tissue formers.

Two-stage implant surgery
In two-stage implant surgery, a dental implant is first placed in the bone and the tissue is closed over the implant. Then, at a subsequent
surgery, usually a few months later, the tissue is opened up and a tissue former in form of healing cap or abutment is placed.

Uncovering is usually referring to the second phase of two-stage implant surgery.