Basic terminology in implant dentistry


A direct structural and functional connection between ordered, living bone and the surface of a load-carrying implant 1.

Endosseous dental implant

A device inserted into the jaw bone (endosseous) to support a dental prosthesis. It is the ‘tooth root’ analogue and is often referred to as a ‘fixture’ 2.

Implant abutment

The component which attaches to the dental implant and supports the prosthesis. A transmucosal abutment (TMA) is one which passes through the mucosa overlying the implant. A temporary or healing abutment may be used during the healing of the peri-implant soft tissue before the definitive abutment is chosen 2.

Abutment screw

A screw used to connect an abutment to the implant 2.

Single stage implant surgery

Surgical placement of a dental implant which is left exposed to the oral cavity following insertion. This is the protocol used in non-submerged implant systems 2.

Two stage implant surgery

Initial surgical placement of a dental implant which is buried beneath the mucosa and then subsequently exposed with a second surgical procedure some months later. This is used in submerged implant systems 2.


1. Albrektsson et al. Acta Orthopaedica Scand 1981.
2. Richard Palmer, Introduction to dental implants BDJ, vol 187, No. 3, Aug 14.

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