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Osseointegration: From the Greek osteon (bone) and the Latin integrare (to make whole)
Osseointegration in dentistry refers to the direct structural bond between living bone and the surface of the artificial tooth replacement – the dental implant. An endosteal implant contains has a rough porous surface into which supporting bone can affix itself easier, and this has been verified using powerful microscopes.
Osseointegration can also be defined as, the direct attachment of bone to inert alloplastic material without intervening connective tissue, the process of direct connection of the endogenous material surface and the host bone tissues, and the interface between alloplastic material and bone.
Dental implants made of bio-ceramic materials such as Zirconium Dioxide (Zirconia) have also been found to osseointegate, albeit not quite as effectively as titanium, although there are aesthetic advantages particularly where anterior (front teeth) restorations are required. Zirconia, being white in colour the same as the root of a natural tooth, does not show through the gums as grey titanium does.