South Bay Dentistry & Orthodontics Family and Cosmetic Dentist

Understanding Tooth Implants: A Guide to 31 Common Terms

Tooth/dental implants have become a game-changer in modern dentistry, offering individuals a durable and natural-looking solution for missing teeth. However, diving into the world of tooth implants can be overwhelming, particularly when faced with a plethora of technical terms and jargon.

In this blog post, we aim to demystify the subject by explaining 31 common terms used in tooth implants. By familiarizing yourself with these terms, you’ll be better equipped to comprehend discussions with your dentist and make informed decisions regarding your oral health.

  1. Tooth Implant: A titanium post surgically placed in the jawbone to serve as an artificial tooth root, providing support for a dental prosthesis.
  2. Abutment: The connector piece that attaches to the implant and supports the dental crown or bridge.
  3. Osseointegration: The process by which the implant fuses with the surrounding bone, ensuring stability and long-term success.
  4. Bone Graft: A procedure that involves adding bone material to the jawbone to enhance its volume and density, often necessary when there is insufficient bone for implant placement.
  5. Immediate Implant: Placement of an implant immediately after tooth extraction, eliminating the need for a separate surgical procedure.
  6. Dental Crown: The visible, custom-made prosthetic tooth that replaces the natural crown and is attached to the implant or abutment.
  7. Dental Bridge: Dental bridge is a form of restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth by utilizing implants or natural teeth as support.
  8. Denture: A removable dental appliance that replaces multiple missing teeth and can be supported by implants or rest on the gums.
  9. All-on-4/All-on-6: A technique that uses four or six strategically placed implants to support a full arch of teeth.
  10. Subperiosteal Implant: An implant placed on or above the jawbone, suitable for patients with inadequate bone height.
  11. Endosteal Implant: The most common type of implant, placed directly into the jawbone.
  12. Mini Implant: A smaller-sized implant used when there is limited bone volume or for temporary restorations.
  13. Titanium: The biocompatible material used for tooth implants due to its strength, durability, and ability to integrate with bone.
  14. Zirconia: An alternative material to titanium, known for its aesthetic appeal and biocompatibility.
  15. Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT): A 3D imaging technique used to capture detailed images of the jawbone, aiding in precise treatment planning.
  16. Prosthodontist: A dental specialist who focuses on the restoration and replacement of teeth, including tooth implants.
  17. Periodontist: A dental specialist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum diseases and the placement of dental implants.
  18. Oral Surgeon: A dental specialist trained in surgical procedures, including tooth implant placement.
  19. Bone Resorption: The natural process of bone loss that occurs when a tooth is missing, which can affect the placement of implants.
  20. Sinus Lift: A surgical procedure that elevates the sinus membrane and adds bone graft material to the upper jaw, creating adequate bone volume for implant placement.
  21. Immediate Loading: The technique of attaching a dental prosthesis to the implant shortly after surgery, without a prolonged healing period.
  22. Healing Abutment: A temporary abutment that emerges through the gum, allowing the tissue to heal properly before attaching the final prosthesis.
  23. Peri-implantitis: An inflammatory condition that affects the tissues surrounding tooth implants, often caused by inadequate oral hygiene.
  24. Biocompatibility: The property of a material that enables it to integrate with the body without causing an adverse reaction or rejection.
  25. Overdenture: A removable denture that fits over tooth implants, providing better stability and retention than traditional dentures.
  26. Gingiva: The gum tissue surrounding the teeth and tooth implants.
  27. Osteoporosis: A medical condition characterized by weakened bones, which can impact the success of tooth implants.
  28. Titanium Plasma Spraying (TPS): A surface treatment technique used to enhance the bonding between the implant and bone.
  29. Impression: A mold of your teeth and surrounding tissues used to create a custom-fitted dental prosthesis.
  30. Occlusion: The way your upper and lower teeth come together when you bite.
  31. Informed Consent: The process of providing patients with comprehensive information about a treatment or procedure, enabling them to make educated decisions.


Understanding the terminology associated with tooth implants is crucial for individuals considering this transformative dental treatment. By familiarizing yourself with these 31 common terms, you can engage in meaningful conversations with your dentist, ask relevant questions, and actively participate in decisions concerning your oral health. Remember, your dental professional is your trusted partner throughout the tooth implant journey, so don’t hesitate to seek their guidance and clarification on any unfamiliar terms. Together, you can achieve a healthy, confident smile that will last for years to come.

Call Us now Skip to content