"Dental implants” is a widely used term, but many doctors also use the term “implant dentistry.” What’s the difference?
What's a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are by definition artificial tooth roots that are placed below the gum line to support restorations that take the place of one or more teeth. Over the years, the term “dental implant” has expanded to include not only the artificial tooth root, but the restoration. When someone says, “I have dental implants,” they usually mean implant-supported restorations, not just the implants themselves.
What's Implant Dentistry?
The term “implant dentistry” is broader and more descriptive, because it covers the entire discipline of dentistry related to replacing missing teeth with implant supported restorations. The discipline of implant dentistry includes diagnosis, treatment planning, the surgical and restorative phases of dental implant treatment, and follow up.
The bottom line is that “implant dentistry” is more comprehensive, but the phrase “dental implants” is commonly understood as a shorthand for dental implant treatment.
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