Decoding Dental Speak: Dental Implant Terms to Know When Restoring Your Smile

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Dental implants are a popular and effective solution for replacing missing teeth, but the terminology surrounding them can feel like another language entirely. At Inspired Dentistry, we believe it’s important for patients to understand their care, so we put together this comprehensive guide, breaking down the key terms and concepts related to dental implants. 

Before Getting Implants

Not everyone is a candidate for dental implants. It depends on the health of your teeth, gums, and jaw. However, just because you aren’t a candidate immediately doesn’t mean we can’t take steps to get you there. 

We start by addressing any tooth decay or gum disease. This could involve treating cavities or fractures in your existing teeth and addressing gingivitis with deep cleanings. We then determine the bone density in your jaw to see if an implant is possible. If not, we may pursue bone grafts or sinus lifts to get you ready. 

Bone Grafts

You may have experienced bone loss in your jaw because your tooth has been missing for a significant amount of time, although other factors can also cause it. A bone graft is a surgical procedure in which bone or bone-like material is placed in the jawbone to strengthen it for dental implants. 

Sinus Lifts

Like a bone graft, a sinus lift adds bone, this time to the upper jaw in the area of the molars and premolars. This is necessary when there is not enough bone in the upper jaw to support implants.

When You Get Implants

Once your oral health is in a good place for implants, our Plant City, FL, restorative dentist starts the multi-step process. Checkout the steps below to unfold the journey of dental implants!

Implant Anchors

We start by implanting metal posts in your jaw to support—i.e. anchor—your replacement teeth. In other words, the anchors are the parts that are actually implanted in your bone and gums. 


This is the process that happens when the implant anchors fuse with the jawbone, which takes place over several months. Osseointegration is crucial for the long-term success of the implant, as it creates a strong and stable foundation for the replacement tooth or bridge.


Once osseointegration occurs, you can come back to our office for your dental abutment,  a small connector piece that is placed on top of the implant anchors. It serves as a base for the replacement tooth or bridge. Abutments can be made of different materials, such as titanium, gold, or porcelain. 

Crowns and Bridges

A dental crown is your replacement tooth. It’s the visible part that sits on top of the abutment and is custom-made to match the color and shape of your remaining teeth so that it looks completely natural. 

Dental bridges are used if you need several crowns to replace many missing teeth in a row. The bridge rests on your implants, literally bridging the gap, with the crowns resting on top of the bridge. 

Lean On Inspired Dentistry of Plant City For Your Dream Smile 

By understanding the terminology and concepts surrounding dental implants, you can make an informed decision about whether this procedure is right for you. Plus, at Inspired Dentistry of Plant City, we’re always willing to take the time to explain something. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to replace your missing teeth.

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