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The Different Types of Dental Implants Available Today

2023-08-02

Dental implants offer a popular and effective way to restore missing or damaged teeth, offering a durable and long-term solution to tooth loss. However, not all dental implants are the same, as each type of dental implant comprises different characteristics.  

Dental implants have transformed restorative dentistry, providing a more natural-looking and long-lasting solution to missing teeth than traditional dentures or bridges. Factors such as bone density, implant placement, and patient preference can all play a role in determining which type of implant is right for each individual.  

Patients can work with their dentist to select the best option for their needs and achieve a healthy, functional, and beautiful smile. 

“Endosteal implants are a commonly used type of dental implant used today, with a success rate of around 95%. These implants are surgically placed directly into the jawbone and typically require a healing period of several months before the final restoration can be attached”. 

Primary and Secondary Classification of Dental Implants 

In modern dentistry, dental implants have revolutionized the field of tooth replacement. These innovative devices provide a durable and natural-looking solution for individuals with missing teeth. Dental implants offer stability, functionality, and improved oral health by seamlessly integrating with the jawbone.  

With their ability to restore smiles and enhance overall well-being, dental implants have become a gold standard in restorative dentistry, providing patients with renewed confidence and a long-lasting solution for their dental needs. Here is a detailed account of the basic types of dental implants. 

  • Endosteal Implants: Explanation and Procedure 

Endosteal implants, the prevailing type of dental implant, consist of titanium and are surgically placed directly into the jawbone. Endosteal implants are primarily utilized to support individual teeth but can also support dental bridges or dentures. 

The name “endosteal” derives from the implants’ placement within the bone, highlighting their direct integration into the jawbone. As a result, endosteal dental implants represent a significant advancement in modern restorative dentistry, offering patients a dependable and durable solution for tooth replacement.  

Meticulously designed to replicate the natural structure of a tooth, these implants provide both functional and aesthetic advantages. The process of receiving endosteal implants involves a meticulously planned sequence of steps, commencing with a comprehensive examination and treatment plan.

Following the initial assessment, a skilled oral surgeon or periodontist will precisely position the implants within the jawbone through a surgical procedure. These implants ensure optimal compatibility, typically crafted from biocompatible materials such as titanium, known for their seamless fusion with bone tissue in an osseointegration process. 

Endosteal implants stand out due to their versatility in accommodating dental restorations, including crowns, bridges, and implant-supported dentures. Once the implants fully integrate with the jawbone, which can take several months, they provide a robust foundation for attaching prosthetic teeth. The result is a stable and functional bite that closely mimics the strength and appearance of natural teeth. 

One noteworthy aspect of endosteal implants is the extensive research and ongoing design and surface technologies advancements. Implant manufacturers continually strive to enhance osseointegration and long-term success rates through innovations such as modified implant surfaces and improved implant shapes. These advancements improve stability, reduce healing times, and improve patient treatment outcomes. 

  • Subperiosteal Implants: Explanation and Procedure 

Subperiosteal implants are a vital component in dental implants, particularly for individuals encountering challenges in conventional implant placement due to insufficient jawbone density or other anatomical limitations.  

The significance of subperiosteal implants lies in their ability to present a viable alternative to invasive bone grafting procedures. For patients experiencing significant bone loss or possessing thin jaw ridges, rebuilding bone through grafting may be daunting. Subperiosteal implants provide a streamlined and less invasive solution.  

They rest upon or above the jawbone, beneath the gum tissue, and establish a stable foundation for dental prosthetics. The process of receiving subperiosteal implants commences with a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s oral health and an extensive evaluation of their bone structure.  

It facilitates the customization of a subperiosteal implant explicitly tailored to the patient’s unique anatomy. Advanced imaging techniques, such as cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), generate precise three-dimensional jawbone models. 

The meticulously crafted implant, often constructed from a lightweight metal framework, is carefully positioned and securely fastened onto the jawbone. It makes a small incision in the gum tissue to expose the underlying jawbone. Subsequently, the gum tissue is sutured back into place, initiating the healing process. 

Over time, as the gums heal and the bone integrates with the implant, a sturdy and stable foundation is established. It creates an optimal environment for attaching dental restorations, such as crowns, bridges, or implant-supported dentures. The outcome is a fully functional and aesthetically pleasing smile, reinstating confidence and enhancing oral health. 

Subperiosteal implants offer a valuable solution for patients who would otherwise be unable to receive traditional endosteal implants due to inadequate jawbone density. It is crucial to acknowledge that the success of subperiosteal implants depends on factors such as the patient’s oral health, adherence to post-surgical care instructions, and regular dental check-ups.

  • Zygomatic Implants: Explanation and Procedure

Zygomatic implants play a pivotal role in dental implantology, particularly for individuals facing severe bone loss in the upper jaw. When traditional implant approaches an inadequate bone structure, zygomatic implants offer a transformative solution, providing the opportunity to restore function, aesthetics, and self-confidence. 

Zygomatic implants utilize the resilient zygoma bone in the cheekbone area as a unique anchor point, establishing a stable foundation for dental restorations. The significance of zygomatic implants lies in their ability to circumvent the need for bone grafting procedures.  

Patients who have experienced substantial bone resorption in the upper jaw, often resulting from prolonged denture use or other factors, may possess a jawbone incapable of supporting conventional implants. 

The procedure for zygomatic implants is a meticulous and specialized endeavor, typically requiring the expertise of a skilled oral surgeon or periodontist well-versed in this advanced technique. The process commences with a comprehensive evaluation and treatment planning, encompassing a thorough assessment of the patient’s bone structure through imaging techniques such as cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). 

The oral surgeon accesses the zygoma bone during the surgical procedure through small gum incisions. Purposefully designed zygomatic implants, often longer than traditional implants, are strategically positioned and securely anchored within the zygoma bone. These implants traverse the maxillary sinus and integrate firmly, establishing a robust support system for dental restorations. 

The integration process of zygomatic implants involves osseointegration, similar to other dental implants, where the bone gradually fuses with the implant surface over time. Following healing and integration, the dentist attaches dental prosthetics to the zygomatic implants, such as crowns or implant-supported dentures. The outcome is a smile that boasts a natural look and feels and restores the ability to chew, speak, and embrace life to the fullest. 

Patients must thoroughly discuss with their dentist or oral surgeon to determine the optimal treatment path. In addition to the three primary types mentioned earlier, there are a few other less commonly used types of dental implants. These include: 

  • Blade Implants: Blade implants, also known as plate or narrow implants, have a flat, blade-like shape. They are best for patients with narrow jaw ridges or limited bone width. Blade implants are inserted into the jawbone and provide stability for dental restorations. 
  • Ramus Frame Implants: Ramus frame implants utilize a framework extending along the lower jawbone, supporting dental prosthetics. 
  • Transosteal Implants: Transosteal implants involve the placement of metal pins or screws through the bottom of the jawbone, with the prosthesis supported above the gumline. 

While these additional types of dental implants exist, they are less commonly employed than the primary types, such as endosteal, subperiosteal, and zygomatic implants. The choice of implant type depends on various factors, and it’s best to consult with a qualified dental professional to determine the most suitable option for your specific situation. 

Final Thoughts 

In restorative dentistry, the availability of different dental implant types has revolutionized how we approach tooth replacement. Each kind, whether the versatile endosteal implants, the alternative subperiosteal implants, or the specialized zygomatic implants, plays a unique role in addressing diverse patient needs and overcoming challenging anatomical limitations.  

If you have missing teeth and need an optimal solution for restoration, consult your dentist to know which type of dental implant suits you.

Contact your dentist in Walnut Creek, Massood Darvishzadeh, DDS at Walnut Creek Dental, to learn about different types of Dental Implants available today.

Resource:
How Much Do Full Mouth Dental Implants Cost?

*This media/content or any other on this website does not prescribe, recommend, or prevent any treatment or procedure. Therefore, we highly recommend that you get the advice of a qualified dentist or other medical practitioners regarding your specific dental condition*   


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