Dental implants near Indianapolis

Glossary of Dental Implant Surgery Terminology

Are you thinking about getting dental implant surgery?

While your oral surgeon will explain everything about the tooth replacement process, you can expect to hear at least a few unfamiliar terms. This glossary, from the Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery team, can help you decode the dental implant lingo.

Dental implants near Indianapolis


The abutment is the connector piece between the titanium implant post placed in the jawbone and the artificial tooth, bridge or denture.

Bone Grafting

Also called jawbone augmentation, bone grafting is an in-office surgical procedure performed to reverse bone loss in the jaw and provide a stable foundation for implanted teeth. Bone grafting is often, but not always, necessary for patients who want dental implant surgery.


The visible part of an implanted tooth, the crown is typically made of ceramic or porcelain compounds. In the hands of an experienced oral surgeon, crowns closely match the natural teeth.

Dental Implant

When oral surgeons talk about dental implants, they’re referring to the screw-like titanium posts that act as replacement tooth roots. Most patients get endosteal implants, which are placed in the jaw. For patients with a shallow jawbone, however, surgeons may use subperiosteal implants instead, which are placed on or above the jaw.

Fixed Denture Implants

Patients who need to replace an entire arch of teeth can opt for fixed denture implants. Four titanium posts can provide enough support, which is why oral surgeons sometimes call them all-on-four implants. This tooth replacement option remains permanently in the mouth, and caring for the implanted teeth is as easy as brushing and flossing like usual.

Implant-Supported Dentures

A removable set of teeth supported by at least two strategically placed titanium posts, this tooth replacement has special attachments that hold it securely in position all day long. At night, patients need to remove implant-supported dentures for cleaning.


Implanted teeth fuse to the jawbone, as the bone tissues naturally grow to surround the titanium posts. This is the osseointegration process, and the firm connection it creates is essential for permanent stability.

Platelet Rich Plasma

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is an advanced technique that can speed up the healing process after oral surgery. The therapy involves collecting a small amount of the patient’s blood, processing it in a centrifuge and applying it to the surgical site.

Do you have questions about dental implant surgery? For expert answers and advice on tooth restoration, patients in the greater central Indiana area trust Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.

Dr. Garrison and Dr. Kelly, our board-certified oral surgeons, have extensive experience successfully placing implanted teeth. We can expertly fill the gaps in your grin, giving you a beautiful, natural-looking smile. For more information about Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, or to schedule an appointment to discuss dental implant surgery, contact our Indianapolis office today.