Dental implants are crafted from pure biocompatible titanium. Titanium has an excellent ability to fuse to the jawbone without causing any side effects. Implants are unique and different from other restoration techniques such as dental bridges and dentures which are typically anchored in place using adhesives or by bonding supportive dental crowns to the teeth. Most dental implants are surgically inserted directly into the jawbone, as the bones heals they grasp the implant securely by fusing to its surface.
Implants, however, are more convenient and easier to manage because you don’t have to deal with messy adhesives or ugly clasps. Once a dental implant is used to replace a missing natural tooth, it helps to preserve your jaw bone and also prevent further deterioration.
Who can have a dental implant?
Unlike many other available tooth restoration procedures, every patient is not eligible for a dental implant. An implant can be placed only if you have retained an adequate amount of jawbone structure. Luckily, if your jawbone is too thin or not enough as required, there are several techniques that can be used to rebuild your bone and provide a sturdy foundation for the implant.
In addition, implants are suitable for every form of tooth loss, it come in different sizes, heights and types, it can also be personalized to fit wherever they are needed. Titanium implants are safe and harmless, they can fit into the bone and under the gum without causing any side effects.
However, If your jawbone can’t support dental implants, your dentist can try any of the following techniques to make your bone fit for implant placement.
- Bone Augmentation: This technique involves restoring or regenerating bone in your jaw using bone additives. During the procedure, the dentist uses bone additives and growth factors to fortify the bone making it strong enough to support implants.
- Ridge expansion: if it turns out that your jaw isn’t simply wide enough to support dental implants, your jaw can still be expended using the ridge expansion technique. During the procedure, bone graft material will be added to a small ridge, or space, created along the top of your jaw.
- Sinus lift: the sinus elevation technique involves adding bone below the sinus in cases where natural bone has deteriorated due to missing upper back teeth.
Types of dental implants
There are two main types of dental implants, they can be removable or fixed permanently. Within the two main types, each of them have other subtypes. So, you have two main options that you can choose from. With the help of a dental implant expert you determine which option is best for you, depending on your particular needs. The two main types of dental implants are:
These special type of dental implants can be screwed in or inserted using a cone or blade that mimic the tooth’s natural root structure. Typically, endosteal implants are usually made of titanium and shaped like small screws. They provide a more secure and permanent structure since they are fixed right in the jawbone.
These dental implants are mostly used as the base for implants, they sit on the bone under the gum but above the jawbone. Subperiosteal is usually recommended for patients who do not have enough healthy natural jawbone and cannot, or do not want to undergo a bone augmentation procedure to rebuild it. The implant is surgical placed into the gum reaching all the way to the jaw bone, but not into it. The metal frame is only placed under the gum with a post attached to it.
3. Zygomatic Implants
Zygomatic implants is among the latest types of dental implants that are now available, although it is not very popular as of now. The whole procedure is more complicated and complex when compared to endosteal and subperiosteal. However, it must be done if you don’t have enough jawbone for an endosteal implant. (1) Instead of placing the implant on the jawbone, the implant is placed in the patient’s cheekbone.
Types of dental implant surgery
Since, the two main types of dental implants are unique, their placement surgery is different. Here are some of the ways to place a dental implant:
Single-Stage Dental Implants
This particular implant placement surgery is suitable for subperiosteal implants. They are mostly used in placements where the implant is meant to sit on the bone. Although, this type of implant is typically more expensive because it needs to be custom fitted due to lack of viable jaw bone space. (2)
During the surgery, the dentist will place a long implant base into the gum reaching all the way to the jaw bone, but not into it. After securing the implant base right above the jawbone, the surrounding gums are then stitched shut, ensuring that only the head of the implant are exposed. So, if your natural jawbone is not healthy enough to support an implant, single-stage dental implants is really a great option for you.
This type of surgery provides a more secure, reliable, more aesthetically pleasing and permanent structure. Before the procedure, your dentist will need to make sure your bone is strong enough. If your bone is not strong enough, they may offer a regenerative treatments to grow enough bone and soft tissue that can support the implant. Endosteal implants are usually installed using two-stage Implants method. During a two-stage implant placement, implants are screwed in or inserted right into the jawbone. The procedure is less expensive than single-stage dental implants, but it can’t work for everyone due to the special requirements.
Alternative Dental Implant Techniques
The health of your jawbone and your specific needs, can determine the best course of an implant procedure for you. Depending on these factors your dental implant dentist may suggest some alternative treatment options. Here are some of those available alternatives:
- Immediate Load Dental Implants: This might be a great option for you if you have enough bone and have an implant secure enough to support the placement and pressure of a temporary tooth. Immediate load dental implants is much more easier and faster than most other alternatives, it can be completed within a day. The procedure involves placement of a temporary tooth during the same appointment as your dental implant placement.
- Mini dental implants: this implant are less innovative than the other available alternatives. They are generally known to have extremely narrow diameter. They are placed through less-invasive techniques and are used primarily to stabilize a lower denture.
- All-on-4: All-on-4 is a great alternative that is used widely for placing a full set of top or bottom replacement teeth. During the procedure, four dental implants are placed in the available bone, this method is very effective as it avoids the need for bone grafting. Special abutments are used so that a temporary set of replacement teeth can be placed the same day. (3) Well, the only thing that most people hate about this procedure is that you will need to follow a special diet while the gum tissues heal and as the implants bond with the bone.
Replacing a missing tooth and finding your perfect smile is not hard this days. Dental implants is really a great option when it comes to tooth replacement. In dentistry as of now, there are several different types of dental implants available for you to chose from. It’s really up to you and your dentist to find the right type of Implant for you. Endosteal, subperiosteal, and zygomatic are the three common types of dental implants that you can choose from.
Also, implants are made with safe materials and can be used for every form of tooth loss and can even be personalized to fit wherever you need them. However, dental implants are very expensive, it cost between $3,000 to $4,500 to replace just a single tooth with a dental implant.