According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, around 3 million people get dental implants each year. Dental implants provide those who have lost permanent teeth with options for replacement. The loss of permanent teeth can affect speech, eating, and self-confidence.
Read on to learn more about the different types of dental implants and what type is right for you.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are made from titanium posts that act as artificial roots for tooth restoration. The implant gets placed in your jawbone below your gum line. The post fuses with your jawbone creating a stable base for your tooth restoration.
The restoration gets attached to the top of the titanium post. This restoration tends to be one crown but can support many teeth using a bridge and dentures. Dental implants prevent jaw bone loss and act as full-functioning replacement teeth.
Types of Dental Implants Available
All dental implants involve placing a titanium post beneath the gums and attaching it to the jaw bone. There are three variations of dental implants to choose from today.
Endosteal implants (cylinder-type implants) are the most common form of dental implant used. These consist of a threaded screw placed into a pre-drilled hole in the jaw bone. The screw becomes the artificial root for the replacement tooth.
Blade implants are another form of endosteal implant. With these implants, a flat sliver of titanium gets placed into the jawbone as a base for a new tooth. Blade implants are less effective than cylinder-type implants but are best for those jaws that can’t hold a cylinder implant.
Different sizes get used depending on the location of the missing tooth and the strength of the jaw bone. Larger implants get placed toward the back of the jaw for molars. Smaller implants get used for smaller teeth towards the front of the mouth.
Subperiosteal implants are not often used today. They are an alternative for those who do not have enough jaw bone to support endosteal implants.
Subperiosteal implants get placed below the gum line and above the jawbone. Metal posts remain exposed above the gum line to hold the dentures in place.
These implants are not as sturdy as endosteal implants. They get held in place by soft tissue instead of bone. They offer more support than using dentures.
The least common type of implant offered today is the zygomatic implant. It is only used if you are not a candidate for endosteal implants. The implant is placed in the cheekbone and is a complicated implant procedure.
Dental Implant Procedure
Before dental implants can get put in, you will need to have a sufficient amount of jawbone to work with. If you do not, you may receive bone grafts to build up the bone in the jaw. It allows the jaw to get larger and stronger to hold the dental implant in its place.
It is most common for patients to need one tooth replaced at a time. The dental implant process will begin months after the tooth has been taken out. The first visit will involve placing the post into the jaw bone.
The bone will grow around the post creating a solid base for the new tooth. This process may take anywhere from 2-5 months. Your jawbone will strengthen to allow the post to act like a typical tooth root.
Once the post is part of the jawbone, you will have an appointment to get the new permanent tooth placed.
When you have many teeth that have to get replaced, you will not get individual implants for each tooth. Your surgeon will use a bridge to hold your new teeth. A bridge allows for a third tooth to be held up by 2 implants on either side.
Another option is the All-on-4 implant method. This method allows for the replacement of many teeth in a row with less surgery. A row of teeth will be held in place by 4 or more implants placed along the jaw bone and gum line.
This option is great for those who have tooth decay and/or advanced gum disease.
Same-Day Dental Implants
This type of implant dentistry makes it so you can walk out of your appointment with a full set of teeth and minimal healing. This set of teeth is temporary until your bone can support the permanent replacement. This is a great option for those not wanting to wait to get their smile back!
Mini implants are a less invasive form of dental implants. The implants are toothpick-sized and get used for stabilizing lower removable dentures. They make it, so the dentures slip less and feel like real teeth.
You can experience some of the benefits of dental implants, such as the prevention of bone loss. You can also avoid facial collapse with mini implants.
Single-stage implants use a similar method to two-stage implants. The difference is that the head of the post remains visible above the gum line. It means a second surgery does not need to be performed to reveal the head of the implant.
When you go with the most common two-stage endosteal implants, it can take 5-11 months to complete the process. After extraction, you have to wait three to six months before you can get your implant placed. It will then take another 2-5 months for the bone growth process around the post.
Restore Your Smile Today
With all the types of dental implants available, you are sure to find one that is right for you. Dental implants can improve your self-esteem and make it easier to chew and speak. The dental implant process can be a long one, but it is worth the wait.
To find out what type of dental implant is right for you, contact our office today. We will help you get started on reviving your beautiful smile!