Look up technical terms and definitions by clicking the arrows in the alphabetical list.

abscess – axial displacement

Ulcerous focus or encapsulation generally caused by a bacterial infection. In dentistry it can be an infection of the tooth root or the gingival pocket.  

Connection component between the implant body, which is integrated into the bone, and the denture (e.g. crown, bridge). Abutments are available in a wide variety of shapes and types for optimum attachment to the various types of implants:

  • straight or angled solid body for cementing crowns
  • screw-retained connections for bar-retained connections or screw-retained crowns
  • snap-fitted or magnetic abutments for attaching prostheses

Dispensing medicinal products or medical substances.
For example, bone structuring materials are available as gels or in granular form.

algae material
Mineral (hydroxyapatite) derived from natural algae, which is used to build up bone substance. FRIOS ALGIPORE is a bone replacement material manufactured from algae.

allogenic material
Name of a replacement material of human origin; it is comparable to stored blood.

alloplastic material, alloplasty
Name for synthetically manufactured replacement materials of inorganic substances, such as PEPGEN P-15 from DENTSPLY Implants.

alveolar cavity
Name for the cavity in the jawbone (alveolar process) in which the tooth is anchored.

alveolar process
Portion of the maxilla or mandible that contains the sockets of teeth.

alveolar ridge
Portion of the jawbone

alveolar ridge atrophy
Atrophy of the jawbone (alveolar ridge).
Muscles and bone atrophy after tooth loss because of the lack of loading.

alveolar ridge extension
Surgical procedure for elevating the jawbone (alveolar ridge) to increase the contact area for the prosthesis.
In this procedure the alveolar ridge is only remodeled – i.e. its shape is modified. It can also be elevated by transplantation of bone (augmentation).

Term for the position and direction of the teeth in the jaw: the front teeth or tooth rows are anterior. The opposite of anterior is posterior.

Refers to location or direction on the tooth: apical means towards the tip of the root.

Surgical procedure for treatment of an inflammation of the root apex. Part of the root tip is removed in this procedure.

Deposition of additional substance, such as tissue structures.

Medical term for not damaging tissue.
Medical actions, instruments or procedures that do not damage tissue are referred to as atraumatic.

Loss of tissue as a result of lack of loading or poor nutrition.
In implantology the focus is generally on bone and soft tissue atrophy as a result of the loss of teeth.

atrophy class
The degree of atrophy of the jaw (alveolar ridge atrophy) is classified into various classes.

Plastic surgery procedure for building up or restoring tissue or bone structures. Supporting or tissue material is placed in the jaw to build up bone structures.

autologous material (bone replacement material)
Material from the patient's body that is used in dentistry as a transplant material for bone remodeling.

axial displacement
Deviation of the alignment of a tooth from the natural or correct position.

bar connection – bridge

bar connection 
Implant-borne denture solution for the edentulous jaw.
Bars connect the inserted implants. The denture is securely anchored on the bars. DENTSPLY Implants offers bar-supported restoration for all major dental implant systems.

bone morphogenetic proteins
Special protein compounds that initiate and accelerate bone growth.
The proteins are released by signal-transmitting cells in the bone and they initiate a cascade, which, for example, triggers growth of the bone-forming cells.

bone remodeling 
Medical method of improving the bone volume. For example, if the bone substance is inadequate for securely anchoring an implant, additional bone mass can be built up. If only minor bone remodeling is required, bone chips can be harvested during preparation of the implant site and used in combination with bone replacement materials. If larger quantities of bone are required, a bone chip or bone piece is harvested from a region with a large amount of bone such as the mandible, grafted to the required position and fixed and protected with a membrane.

bone remodeling and replacement materials 
Substances that support bone remodeling. A distinction is made between synthetically manufactured and organically harvested materials.
Synthetic materials consist of ceramic bases (tricalcium phosphate) and have good material characteristics and very good compatibility. DENTSPLY Implants manufactures PEPGEN P-15.
The organic materials are of animal or plant origin. They are based on the natural mineral hydroxyapatite. They have a dense, stable basic structure that has a positive influence on bone growth, such as FRIOS ALGIPORE from DENTSPLY Implants, a bone remodeling material derived from algae. In addition, a bone block can be removed from one position on the patient and grafted at another position.

bone restructuring 
Changing the bone morphology after tooth loss.

Fixed denture that replaces several adjacent teeth.
The neighboring teeth are used to fix the bridge. They are generally prepared to hold a crown. Implants can also be used as bridge abutments. The implant is firmly anchored in the jaw and the bridge is fixed to it. This makes it unnecessary to grind the neighboring teeth, because the bridge is supported by the implants.

callus – crown

Medical term for the component of the bone that forms new cells from the bone substance after a fracture.

cancellous bone 
Soft, spongy bone mass in the interior of the bone.
The cancellous bone is surrounded by a harder bone structure (cortical bone).

ceramic implant
White implants of ceramic.
The first implants of aluminum oxide ceramic did not have sufficient material strength to compete with titanium. Current ceramic implants of zirconium oxide resist breakage and experience to date indicates that they are very compatible.

Examination after medical treatment or medical procedure.
For example, the progress of the wound healing is checked some days after placement of an implant.

Medical term for blood clotting and suppression of bleeding.

computed tomography (CT)
Medical procedure that uses x-rays to record the area of interest in planes and form a three-dimensional image.
It is used in implantology to show accurate images of bone structures and detect endangered areas that are important for placement of an implant.

conical connection 
Connection between implant and abutment in which the conically shaped abutment is inserted into the implant. The ANKYLOS implant system from DENTSPLY Implants uses this friction-locked and keyed connection.

connecting bridge
Special denture that connects natural teeth and implants.

coralline bone replacement material 
Mineral (hydroxyapatite) derived from coral used for bone remodeling.

cortical bone 
Term for the hard outer layer of bone.
The inside part of the bone is the softer cancellous bone.

Refers to location or direction of teeth in the jaw: The teeth are crestal from the alveolar ridge. Crestal also refers to the region of the bone alveolar margin. This is a significant location in connection with the placement of implants. An implant can be placed crestally or laterally.

Artificial tooth replacement, which is placed on a natural tooth or an implant and completes the function of the tooth.
The crown is the visible part of the tooth. If multiple teeth adjacent to one another are replaced, usually a single bridge is fabricated.

defect prosthesis – DMF index

defect prosthesis
Prosthesis that can not only replace teeth but can also regulate defects in the jaw and facial region.

delayed immediate implant placement 
Implant placement after the soft tissue has healed but bone remodeling has not yet taken place.

dental implant
Artificial tooth root, generally of titanium, which completely replaces the function of the natural root and is completely invisibly integrated into the jaw.
Implants can be used to replace an individual tooth, multiple adjacent teeth or all teeth. They are completely resistant to loading and feel exactly the same as natural teeth when chewing.

dental implantology
Dental specialty that is concerned with the complete range of planning, placement and restoration of artificial tooth roots in the jaw.
The goal is complete functional and esthetic restoration of single teeth or the complete dentition.

dental prophylaxis
Measures for prevention of diseases, such as caries or periodontitis, of the teeth and the masticatory system.

digital transversal tomography (DTS) 
Three-dimensional x-ray image of the dental and jaw situation using an auxiliary program.

Refers to location or direction of teeth: distal teeth are at the end of the dental arch.

distraction (implant)
Method of extending or stretching the bone with the goal of establishing new bone structures.
The distraction implant is a metal appliance that is positioned in the mouth to pull the relevant bone parts apart. This method is very rarely used because it is necessary to wear the apparatus for a long time.

DMF index (D=decayed, M=missing, F=filled) 
Statistical gauge for the severity and extent of caries, which indicates the total number of decayed, missing and filled teeth per person.
The index documents the extent of caries in general surveys of the population.

early loading – extension bridge

early loading 
Restoration of the placed implant with a fully functional denture within three weeks.

Partial or complete obstruction of a blood vessel by substances or tissue parts, such as blood, air or fat.

emergence profile
Term for the position in the soft dental tissue or the gum at which tooth emerges and becomes visible.

endosseous, endosteal 
Determining the position of the implant in the bone: endosseous describes the normal case: the implant is immersed in the bone. 
epithelium, epithelial 
Cover tissue.
A distinction is made between the keratinous outer skin layer and the unkeratinous mucosa.

exchange program 
Obsolete designation for abutment constructions that are attached to the implant.
The current term is superstructure.

extension bridge, cantilever bridge
Type of bridge that replaces a missing tooth and is anchored by an abutment on only one side (bridge).

facial – functional immediate loading

Term for the face of a tooth that faces outwards (to the cheek).

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 
US government department that is responsible for controlling the quality standards of food and drugs before they are approved for sale. Packaging must also conform to high quality standards and show the active substances and excipients. No drugs or medical devices are permitted to be sold in the USA without FDA approval.

free-end gap 
Edentulous jaw section that is bounded by a natural tooth on one side only.

functional analysis
Analysis of the dentition to determine the status and interaction of the teeth and the dentition.

functional immediate loading 
Functional loading of the implant and the temporary or final denture within 48 hours of placement of the implant.

gap – guided tissue regeneration (GTR)

Edentulous jaw section that is bounded by natural teeth on both sides.

Medical term for the gum.

gingiva index
Gauge indicating the status of the gum.

gingival pocket 

Indentation or formation of a gap between the tooth root and the surrounding gum.
The cause is generally an inflammatory periodontal disease.

guided bone regeneration (GBR)
Healing of a bone graft under a protective foil or membrane.

guided tissue regeneration (GTR) 
Surgical procedure that supports or restores the dental structures that may have become atrophied during regeneration.

healing – hydroxyapatite

Process that starts after placement of the implant and includes the integration and healing into the bone.
The gum generally heals within two weeks. In the maxilla the bone healing takes four to six months. In the mandible the bone is somewhat harder, so the healing is complete after two to four months. During this period the gap is covered by a temporary denture.
After placement of the implant the healing can be open or submerged:

  • If the gum is sutured over the implant after placement, this is referred to as 'submerged healing’. The implant is protected from external influences. A second surgical procedure is required to uncover the implant with this method.
  • Open healing means that a gingiva former is placed on the implant and it is not necessary to suture the gum. A second procedure is not required.

Property referring to the origin and formation of tissue structures.

Attractive to moisture and water.
Materials that have this property improve and facilitate wetting by water or aqueous solutions. For example, implants from DENTSPLY Implants have a hydrophilic surface, which facilitates healing of the implant because of the improved wettability of the surface.

Mineral present as the basic substance of bone and teeth.
This biomaterial is used to build up bone substance. It can be derived from vegetable material such as algae. FRIOS ALGIPORE, for example, is a bone replacement material manufactured from algae, which is based on hydroxyapatite.

immediate loading – internal thread

immediate loading 
Immediate loading means that the denture is fixed immediately or within 24 hours of placement of the implant and it can also be fully loaded immediately.

immediate implant placement 
Placement of implants immediately after tooth loss or extraction.
The advantage of this procedure is that bone and tissue are loaded with no waiting time and bone resorption does not occur.

Artificial tooth root, generally of titanium, which becomes fully integrated into the jaw and completely replaces the function of the natural root of the tooth.
Implants provide a stable foundation for single crowns, larger bridges or dentures. They are completely resistant to loading and feel exactly the same as natural teeth when chewing. DENTSPLY Implants offers three different implant systems that are used depending on the individual situation of the patient.

Dental specialty that is concerned with the complete range of planning, placement and restoration of artificial dentures.

implant placement
Surgical procedure for insertion of the implant.

implant protocol
Clinically tested and documented treatment procedure that must be followed during placement of an implant.

implant site preparation
Preparation of the region of the jawbone in which the implant is to be placed.

implant success
Criteria by which the success of an implant treatment can be measured.
The basis for the evaluation can include criteria such as patient satisfaction, stability or frequency of infection. There is still no generally acceptable, unified evaluation system, in spite of numerous proposals.

implant surface
Outer coating of an implant that has a significant influence on the healing and stability of the implant by direct contact with the tissue.
The microroughened structure of the surface that is included in all implants from DENTSPLY Implants promotes the healing process.

Procedure for making an accurate negative cast of single teeth or the complete jaw. The impression is an accurate reproduction of the oral situation and is used as a master cast for processing in the laboratory.

index impression 
'Simplified’ impression for manufacture of a temporary denture in the laboratory.

Defense reaction of the organism to an external or internal stimulus intended to eliminate or repair it. Signs of inflammatory processes are reddening, heat, swelling, pain or malfunction.

Property of bone replacement materials that refers to the porous structure of the material resulting from numerous fine interconnecting networks. It provides the optimum environment for bone remodeling with ample space for colonization of new cells.

Designation for a region in the jaw: interforaminal refers to the front section of the mandible.

internal hex
Connection with six possible positions that allows the implant and implant-abutment to be joined to form a stable and rotation-locked unit.

internal thread 
Connection in which the abutment is not screwed onto but directly into the implant.

labial – lingual

Refers to a direction on the tooth: labial refers to the part of the tooth closest to the lip.

laser treatment
Medical procedure for treatment of periimplantitis. The laser is used during the treatment for removing bacteria from the implant surfaces.

laser surgery
Surgical procedure conducted with a laser, e.g. for treatment of periodontitis. The treatment causes little bleeding and is virtually painless.

late implant placement
Late implant placement is implant placement after all healing processes resulting from the loss of a tooth have been completed.

Refers to a direction on the tooth: lateral refers to the part of the tooth at the side.

Refers to a direction on the tooth: lingual refers to the part of the tooth closest to the tongue.

mandible – multicenter study

Medical term for the bone of the lower jaw.

Medical term for the bone of the upper jaw.

Very thin foil about the size of a postage stamp that is used in bone remodeling.
The extremely biocompatible membrane is fixed over the bone remodeling materials and protects the healing process of bone deposition.

Refers to a direction on the tooth: mesial refers to that part of the tooth that points to the center of the dental arch.

Medical term for the grinding teeth.

molar region
Region around the premolars and grinding teeth (molars).

mucoperiosteal flap
Flaps of mucosa that are detached from the underlying bone before implant placement or other orthodontic surgery procedures.

multicenter study
Study that investigates a topic in different hospitals or practices that are independent from one another.

necrosis – non-functional immediate loading

Medical term that describes the death of tissue, tissue parts or organs.

non-functional immediate loading
Restoration of an implant within 48 hours after placement with a temporary denture.

obturator prosthesis – overdenture

obturator prosthesis
Customized prosthesis (generally plastic) that closes unwanted, congenital or disease-caused openings in the body.
This type of prosthesis is used in orthodontic surgery, particularly for gum defects and cleft palates where surgical intervention is not possible.

occlusion, occlusal contact
In dental medicine this term defines every contact between the teeth of the upper and lower jaw, such as chewing movements or biting together.

occlusal height
Distance between the maxilla and mandible base in the final occlusal position.

OPG, orthopantomogram
X-ray imaging process that shows the complete upper and lower jaw including the temporomandibular joints.

oral floor
Part of the mouth: soft tissue between the lower jaw and the hyoid bone.

oral floor reconstruction
Surgical procedure for lowering the base of the mouth.
The goal is to establish a larger base for full dentures.

oral hygiene
Care and cleaning of the oral cavity to remove food residues and plaque.
It includes regular cleaning of the teeth and cleaning the interdental spaces. Interdental brushes are used for the interdental spaces with implants.

oral vestibule
Part of the oral cavity: the oral vestibule is the space between the lips and cheeks and the dental arches or those parts of the jawbone processes extending into the oral cavity (alveolar processes).

Dental specialty that is concerned with the detection and correction of irregularities and malocclusion of the jaw and tooth.

osteoconduction, osteoconductive
Property of bone remodeling materials that supports the natural process of the formation of new bone. These materials provide guidance structures to which bone forming cells can adhere.

Medical term that describes the formation or rebuilding of new bone tissue that occurs after extraction of a tooth.

osteoinduction, osteoinductive
Capacity of the bone to respond to a transplant or implant with the formation of new bone.
Osteoinductive substances such as bone-forming materials control the formation of new bone.

Process that describes the healing of the implant in the bone.
The bone cells grow directly onto the implant and adhere permanently to the implant surface. The implant becomes permanently anchored in the bone. The implant surface is the deciding factor for optimum osseointegration. Implants from DENTSPLY Implants have a special surface structure.

Surgical procedure in which autologous bone or bone from another individual is grafted to a bone defect.

Disease of the bone in which the bone density is reduced but the external shape is generally retained.

Separation, opening or removal of a bone with a drill, saw, bone chisel or ultrasonics.

Special type of denture that is used where only a few natural teeth are present. The remaining teeth can be used as retaining and supporting elements. In its shape and scope this solution is generally similar to a full denture.

patient compliance – provisional delivery

patient compliance
Participation and cooperation of the patient with a medical treatment, such as by observing precautions for use.

Inflammation of the soft tissue caused by bacteria and possibly also of the peri-implant bone around the implant. The causes include poor oral hygiene, smoking or overloading of the tissue.

Chronic bacterial inflammation of the gum and the supporting tissue structure, which often leads to tooth loss.

periodontitis (parodontitis apicalis)
Medical term for inflammation of the periodontal ligament.

Term for a non-inflammatory resorption of the gum, which is frequently used as a synonym for periodontitis.

Dental deposit that is initially a natural component of the oral flora. Poor cleaning or unhealthy nutrition, such as high sugar consumption, cause increased deposition of impurities and microorganisms. The result can be caries or gum infections.

plaque index
Index for the amount of plaque deposited within 24 hours without oral hygiene measures.

platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
Harvesting of blood plasma from the patient's blood, which supports bone healing.

Special geometrical implant structure, which transfers the transition between implant and abutment to the inside. This greatly reduces irritation at the connection point and ensures improved healing.

pocket index
Measurement of the pocket depth.

Term for the position and direction of the teeth in the jaw: the back teeth or tooth rows are posterior. The opposite of posterior is anterior.

Term for the two teeth between the cuspid and grinding teeth.

primary stability
Desired strength immediately after placement of the implant in the jaw. Primary stability is considered an important factor in the healing of the implant. For example, the XiVE implant system from DENTSPLY Implants is designed to achieve a particularly high primary stability.

progressive loading
Gradual increase of the load on the implant after completion of the initial healing phase (approx. three months). The implant is initially restored with a temporary denture. The final denture is fixed in place on completion of healing.

Denture supported on the oral mucosa that can replace some or all teeth. Natural teeth are integrated as supporting abutments with a partial denture. Prostheses can also be attached to implants, and existing natural teeth can also be integrated in this case. The advantage is that implant-borne prostheses do not load the oral mucosa or retainer teeth but the jawbones, just like the natural teeth.

Dental specialty that is concerned with the functional and esthetic restoration of missing teeth.

provisional delivery
Temporary crown or prosthesis placed as a temporary measure for an accustomizing period, which can be removed.

resin-bonded bridge – retrospective study

resin-bonded bridge
Fixed bridge for correction of a single-tooth gap (particularly in the front-tooth region), which is anchored to the abutment teeth by adhesive techniques

The capacity of organisms to absorb substances. In implantology this is a significant factor in bone remodeling.

Retention is derived from Latin 'retentio’ and means to keep in place. In dental medicine "retentio dentis" refers to teeth that have not emerged. Retention is also used to refer to the retaining apparatus for a prosthesis.

retrograde root filling
Filling the root canal from the tip of the root

retrospective study
Study that considers the prior history and the influencing quantities from which a specific result is derived.

sandwich plasty – synthetic bone replacement material

sandwich plasty
Deposition of bone replacement material between two jawbones, for example for lifting the complete jaw situation.

sinus lift
Surgical procedure for lifting the floor of the sinus.
Implants require an adequate bone base for secure and fixed retention. Because of bone resorption, particularly in the side tooth region of the upper jaw, there may not be sufficient bone for this. Bone or bone remodeling material is grafted to the floor of the sinus to provide a solid anchorage for the implant.

soft-tissue management
All actions required for contouring a harmonious soft-tissue profile.

Connection of individual teeth, groups of teeth or implants, for example by bar constructions, to stabilize loose or isolated teeth.

Position of the implant in the jaw. The implant is positioned so it is not level with the bone margin of the prepared implant site but just below the bone (alveolar margin).

subperiostal implant
This type of implant, which is rarely used, is below the periosteum but on the bone. Implants are normally placed endosseously. This means that they are completely anchored in the bone.

success rate
Percentage proportion of placed implants with reference to life and functionality.
Implantology studies demonstrate that approx. 94 percent of implants are still in perfect condition after ten years.

surgical template
Auxiliary equipment used in implantology to determine the optimum implant position and implant alignment.
The transparent plastic templates, which are accurately finished on a master cast, are attached to the teeth or the jawbone and show the exact position for drilling.

Medical term for the groove between the gum and the tooth.

sulcus fluid
Fluid or secretion discharged by the gum that contains numerous bacteria that may cause infections.

sulcus fluid flow rate
Quantitative measurement of the sulcus fluid, which allows conclusions to be drawn on the degree of inflammation of the tooth retention apparatus.

superstructure, superstructures
General term for all types of dentures that can be attached to implants. It includes bridges, crowns or overdentures.

synthetic bone replacement material
Bone replacement material that is not of organic origin but is synthetically manufactured.

telescopic crown – tumor resection

telescopic crown
Crown that consists of an internal and an external component.
With implants the internal component is fixed to the implant, the external crown abutment is attached to it as a stable superstructure. The solution, referred to as a telescopic crown, has the advantage that the removable crown can be extended to form a bridge or partial denture without difficulty.

telescopic prosthesis
Removable denture that consists of a telescopic system that is fixed to remaining natural teeth.

temporary immediate restoration
Temporary restoration of a newly placed implant with a temporary denture to establish esthetics and adequate chewing function for the healing period.

tension peaks
Tension/stretching in tissue

Titanium is a light metal that is extremely corrosion-resistant and biocompatible. These properties make it ideal for use in medicine, such as for implants.

Force required for screwing the implant into the bone.
The procedure of screwing the retaining screw into the implant is also shown by the correct torque. It gives information on the degree of stability of the implant in the jaw.

transdental fixation
Procedure for stabilizing loosened tooth roots. A metal (titanium) or ceramic pin that extends beyond the tip of the root into the jawbone is fixed in position.

transgingival healing
See (open) healing.

Tissue part or organ that is transplanted or has previously been transplanted.
Medical term for injury, wound or damage to the body.

tumor resection
Surgical removal of a tumor.


Procedure in implant treatment: after placement of an implant the gum is initially sutured over it for improved healing. When the healing process is complete, the gum is opened again and the implant uncovered for continuing treatment.


Surgical procedure for raising the alveolar ridge and lowering the oral vestibule to provide sufficient bone to hold the prosthesis where the original bone base is inadequate. The mucosa and muscle attachment is detached on the facial side and displaced downwards.


Wax casting to demonstrate the prosthetic situation.
A wax-up is used as a simulation template for planning the future therapeutic actions so the effects can be analyzed.

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Step by step procedures when replacing one or more teeth.