FAQ & Glossary of Dental Implant Terms

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Dental Implants?

There are many options for replacing missing teeth, but both the dentists and patients prefer implants because of their natural look and benefits to your oral health. The titanium post that holds the tooth in place acts just like your natural tooth root, maintaining your jaw mass and function. Whenever you lose a tooth, the jaw bone around your gap will begin to deteriorate. This deterioration causes your jaw to physically shrink, altering your appearance and your ability to handle pressure in your jaw. This leads to pain, discomfort, and further tooth decay. Even if you’ve lost a tooth due to an accident, your remaining teeth are vulnerable. That’s why Dental Implants Las Vegas suggests patients opt for this permanent and healthy means of tooth replacement.

What are the health risks and possible downsides of getting implant surgery?

  • An article appearing on the Mayo Clinic site suggests that although there are potential risks, they are usually minor.
  • Risks include developing an infection around the implant (Peri-implantitis)
  • Possible damage to surrounding structures
  • Possible nerve damage
  • Sinus problems

Dental Tourism. Is Canada a good place to get dental implants?

Canadian Dentists and specialists just like in the United States are required to have extensive post-secondary education and then additional licensing at the provincial level. This combined with required ongoing education means that the quality of dental care in Canada is of the highest standard. Costs are comparable to the US and may in certain locations be lower.

The takeaway point here is that patients are protected by our federal and provincial laws as well as the codes published by the participating dental associations.

Before considering a dental holiday, be sure you understand the requirements to practice in that country as well as your legal recourse.

Am I at greater risk if I smoke?

Many research studies have shown a greater rate of failure for implants if the patient is a smoke. There is greater exposure to bacteria, and the healing process is much slower. Nicotine in tobacco has been shown to reduce the blood flow in the mouth, which can impact oral health.

I noticed this site lists many different manufacturers. Isn’t the choice up to the dentist?

That is a really hard question to answer as it well may be true that the specialist feels more comfortable dealing with one manufacturer over another. Simply the dental implant market is very competitive and manufacturers are constantly trying to outdo each other. Hot topics are immediate load and nanotechnology. As always a better-informed consumer/patient will lead to better results. Also, ask your health professional, they are the ones who know.


Bone Grafting – rebuilding the bone using either natural or artificial materials, necessary if there has been too much bone loss.

Bruxism -Tooth clenching or grinding

Computed Tomography – X Rays that provide a view of an internal body structure, cross-sectional images

Edentulous – An area without teeth

Endosteal – This kind of implant is placed directly into the bone similar to natural tooth roots.

Gingiva – Connective tissue covered with mucous membrane and surrounds the bases of the teeth.

IAN – Inferior alveolar nerve (what gives you feeling in your lower teeth & gums)

Mandible – Lower jaw

Mandibular Canal – a conduit for the neurovascular bundle carrying the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN)

Mini Implants – miniature titanium implants usually used to hold dentures

MF – Mental foramen, front opening of the mandibular canal

Osteoblasts – Bone forming cell

Osseointegration – Osteoblasts grow onto the surface of the implant and into cavities in the implant

Panoramic X-Ray – picture of the mandible curved to follow a greater area

Peri-implantitis – inflammatory process surrounding dental implants (bacterial colonization)

Periodontists – Specialists who treat diseases of the gum

Porous Titanium Foam Implants –  A new kind of implant being developed at the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Materials Institute.

Prosthodontists – a specialist in implants, esthetic & reconstructive dentistry

Sinus Lifting – augmentation of bone mass in the top jaw (Maxilla)

Subperiosteal – This implant fits over the jaw and is used when the bone has atrophied.

Titanium – Very strong corrosion-resistant metallic element