Our adult teeth are supposed to stay with us for life, and the loss of one or more teeth can affect our dental health. Problems such as reduced speech ability and difficulty eating can also arise. The solution is dental implants, which are replacements for your natural tooth roots. They come in an array of shapes such as cylindrical and screw shapes. However, there are different types of dental implants and you might be wondering which of them is right for you. Read on to learn more about the three main types of dental implants.
The most widely used type of dental implant is the endosteal implant. They are ideal for most patients that have a healthy jawbone because that is what the implant posts are fused to. This type of dental implant is usually shaped like screws and fitted into your jaw. This type of endosteal implant is called a root form dental implant. Another type of endosteal implant is the blade form dental implant which is meant for very small jawbones but is less common and seldom used. Endosteal implants generally need significant recovery time to heal and fuse. The false teeth (also called dental prosthetics) are only placed onto the implant posts after they have healed.
Getting an endosteal implant involves going to the dentist multiple times as the process is done in stages. During the first consultation, your dentist will discuss the implant options with you. Then, a replica of your jawbone will be made to assess the suitability and position of the implant. This is followed by the actual surgery which involves an incision of the gum and drilling of the jawbone. Then, the abutment, which is the piece that connects the prosthesis to the implant, is attached. Lastly, the new tooth is added and the implant is fixed in place.
A subperiosteal implant is not fixed into the jawbone like an endosteal implant. Instead, it sits above the jawbone while still being below the gum. The subperiosteal implant post is fixed to a metal frame that is placed beneath the gum, holding it securely in place. False teeth are then placed onto the poles. Subperiosteal implants are less common compared to endosteal implants and are only used in the event of an insufficient jawbone.
Although the process of getting a subperiosteal implant is rather similar to an endosteal implant, it is slightly less invasive as it is placed on top of the jawbone instead of in the jawbone itself. It still involves gum incision and drilling, but below the gum tissue and not into the jawbone.
The least frequently used type of dental implant is the zygomatic implant, where the plant is placed directly into the cheekbone instead of the jawbone. This is a very extensive and complicated dental procedure that is usually not recommended unless absolutely necessary. So there you have it, the three different types of dental implants. You may also want to learn about common dental implant misconceptions. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here!