Osseointegration derives from the Greek osteon, bone, and the Latin integrare, to make whole. The term refers to the direct structural and functional connection between living bone and the surface of a load-bearing artificial dental implant. Osseointegration has enhanced the science of medical bone and joint replacement techniques as well as dental implants and improving prosthetics for amputees.
An osseointegrated implant is a type of implant defined as "an endosteal implant containing pores into which osteoblasts and supporting connective tissue can migrate". Applied to oral implantology, this refers to bone grown right up to the implant surface without interposed soft tissue layer. No scar tissue, cartilage or ligament fibers are present between the bone and implant surface. The direct contact of bone and implant surface can be verified microscopically.