If you are missing one or more teeth, a dental implant may be right for you. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, there are two main types of implants. These are endosteal implants and subperiosteal implants. Both provide a solution for missing teeth.
Endosteal dental implant
The most common type of dental implant is an endosteal implant. This type of implant is placed in the jawbone surgically. The dentist will make an incision in the gumline, drill down into the jawbone and place the implant. The endosteal implant is usually made out of titanium. This allows the implant to fuse with the jawbone over time before the false tooth is placed over it.
Patients are good candidates for endosteal implants if there is enough bone density in the jaw. Patients should also have good oral health, the right oral hygiene habits and healthy gum tissue. The patient will also need to be willing to spend several months waiting for the bone to fuse to the implant.
Subperiosteal dental implant
However, not every patient will have enough bone density in the jawbone for an endosteal implant. If the teeth have been missing for several years, the lack of stimulation in the jawbone can cause the bone to deteriorate. As patients age, the bone can also become weaker.
For patients who do not have enough bone tissue for an endosteal implant, a subperiosteal implant may be an option. Because there is not enough bone in the jaw, this implant is inserted on top of the jawbone. It is located between the gum tissue and the jawbone. This area is known as the periosteum.
This type of implant is not used often. Because these implants are not inserted deeply, these types of dental implants have high failure rates — between 30 to 50%. A better option for many patients can be bone grafting. This process allows the patient to have more bone density in the jaw, so the patients can have traditional implants placed.
Because of the high failure rate of subperiosteal implants, patients can also have bone grafts. In this procedure, the dentist will take bone from another part of the patient’s body — often the soft palate — and integrate the bone with the jaw. If only a small amount of bone was needed, the patient can have this done when the implants are placed. In other cases, the patient will need to have two separate procedures to have the bone and implant placed.
Visit a dentist today
If you are interested in dental implants to replace missing teeth, you have many different options. If a commonly used endosteal implant does not work for you, you can choose an implant that sits on top of the jawbone. You can also choose bone grafting to replace bone in your jawbone. No matter what type of dental implant you choose, the first step is to contact a dentist today.
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