Dental Implants: Your Mini Glossary

dentalimplantbonetissueDental implants provide patients with an exceptional solution to replace missing teeth, whether you are missing one or even all of your teeth. As you continue your journey into the world of implants, you have probably recognized that in addition to many advantages to learn about, there are also some new terms with which you are unfamiliar. Rather than avoiding certain topics or just making assumptions about certain aspects of treatment, we encourage you to brush up on some terms. With this mini glossary, you will be all caught up on the important terms you need for a better understanding of implants:

Your Implant Glossary


Abutment: An abutment is an accessory that we will place within the top of your dental implant. The implant rests in your jawbone and gum tissue but does not stick out above your gumline, which means you need an additional piece to connect a dental crown (or other artificial tooth) to the implant. The abutment piece acts as this connector.


Dental Implant: A dental implant is a titanium post. Many patients think an implant replaces an entire tooth. However, it does not. The post replaces your roots only. Once healed, the post will support a dental crown or other tooth replacement solution that restores the part of your tooth that sits above your gumline.


Osseointegration: This is a fancy sounding term but it’s not too hard to remember. This is a process that occurs after we place the dental implant into your jawbone. Over time – usually several months – the titanium implant will fuse with your jawbone tissue. This is the foundation of implant success because it allows the post to truly replace your tooth’s roots, while providing stable support just like your natural roots once did.

Restoration: You may hear us talk about “restoring” your implant or placing a “restoration.” We use this word to speak about the prosthetic – or artificial tooth or teeth replacement – that we will use to top your implant. Your restoration for a single implant will include a dental crown. To replace multiple teeth, your restoration may include a full or partial denture.


James Stewart, DDS, and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (734) 425-4400.