If you have recently lost a tooth or teeth and have been looking at your options for replacements, it can suddenly become a difficult and complex world to navigate. Fortunately, dental science has come a long way since George Washington’s wooden dentures but finding which option is right for you can be tough. That’s why we have created this guide to dental implants. We hope that you can find the best fit for your lifestyle and when you decide that it’s time to get the smile you deserve, that you’ll already have information to help make an informed decision.
Basic Dental Implant Types
First, implants are not dentures. Implants are surgically implanted devices that mimic your teeth, but they do not sit on top of your teeth or gums like bridges and dentures. The two main types of implants are Endosteal and Subperiosteal.
Endosteal implants are surgically placed into the jawbone. They are typically made of titanium and shaped like small screws. This is the most frequently used implant type.
Subperiosteal implants are surgically placed below the gum but are not attached into the bone. These implants are primarily used when patients don’t have enough underlying jawbone to securely make an attachment, or when the patient does not want to undergo bone augmentation procedures that would help rebuild the bone.
However, there are several options to help patients rebuild and restore the jawbone, so talk to your dentist when weighing your potential options.
These implants are preferred by dentists for a variety of reasons. The ability to place a titanium post or screw directly into the bone helps to securely anchor the implant without risking it moving or becoming loose. In addition, the body resorbs bone tissue when a tooth is no longer implanted. The processor resorption removes the bone tissue that once held the tooth. Over time, resorption can become so significant that it impacts the teeth around them, resulting in further shifting, twisting, or even the loss of neighboring teeth.
Endosteal implants are typically composed of titanium with microscopic holes that are cut into the implant itself. These holes act as anchor points for new bone to grow and securely hold the implant in place. So endosteal implants not only stop the process of resorption but can also help grow new bone around the implant.
Whether patients require a single or an entire row of dental implants, endosteal can still be an option. While many implant approaches are designed to replace a single tooth, the All on 4 system places four implant posts around the entire arch of the jaw.
A special piece of hardware that looks similar to dentures is then installed onto these four posts. Having an entire arch of teeth securely placed has all of the advantages of dentures without having all of the drawbacks, like loose fits, adjustments, or specialized care and cleaning regimens.
Subperiosteal implants must be made custom to each patient. Additionally, because patients who receive this implant type typically have reduced bone mass, it requires a detailed impression be created to securely fit the patient’s mouth.
The process of receiving subperiosteal implants typically takes two office visits. During the first visit, a local anesthetic is applied to the area where the implant will be placed. The dentist then makes an incision through the gums and takes the impression of the underlying bone structure. This impression is then used to identify the location of the struts that will hold the bridges in place. The incision is then closed, and the impression is used to create the implant.
Once the implant has been received, your dentist will be able to have you come back into the office. The area is numbed again, and the same incision is made. The implant is then put into place. The gum tissue is sutured over the top of the device to hold it in place, and a temporary bridge is placed until the tissues heal, and the permanent bridge can be placed.
If you need to replace a single or entire arch of teeth, you may have been considering implants. With so many advances, our offices can help you find the best fit for your needs! Call Jupiter Dentistry in Jupiter, FL today to schedule an appointment.