General Dentistry

What are the 3 Main Types of Dental Implants You Can Choose From?

image-of-teeth

Dental implants have revolutionised dentistry by providing a reliable and aesthetically pleasing solution for missing teeth. No longer do you have to deal with an incomplete smile. Dental implants are designed to mimic the look, feel and function of your natural teeth and significantly improve your quality of life! If you are considering dental implants, it’s important to understand the different types available and what each offers. Here, we explore the three main types of dental implants: endosteal, subperiosteal and zygomatic.

1. Endosteal Implants

Endosteal implants are the most common type of dental implant and are typically the go-to choice for most patients and dental professionals. These implants are surgically placed directly into the jawbone and serve as the root for the artificial tooth.

Advantages:

  • High Success Rate: Endosteal implants have a high success rate, often above 95%, when properly maintained.
  • Natural Look and Feel: These implants provide a stable base that feels and functions like natural teeth!
  • Long-lasting: With proper care, endosteal implants can last a lifetime.

Procedure:

The procedure for endosteal implants involves several stages:

  1. Initial Consultation: Your dentist will evaluate your oral health and bone density to ensure you’re a good candidate for the implant.
  2. Surgical Placement: The implant, typically a screw-like post made of titanium, is surgically inserted into the jawbone.
  3. Osseointegration: Over several months, the implant fuses with the bone in a process called osseointegration.
  4. Abutment Placement: Once osseointegration is complete, an abutment is attached to the implant to hold the crown.
  5. Crown Attachment: Finally, a custom-made crown is placed on the abutment.

Endosteal implants require a sufficient amount of healthy jawbone, which might necessitate a bone graft if there is significant bone loss.

2. Subperiosteal Implants

Subperiosteal implants are less common and are typically used for patients who do not have enough healthy jawbones for endosteal implants and do not want to undergo bone grafting. These implants are placed under the gum but above the jawbone.

Advantages:

  • Less Invasive: The procedure is less invasive compared to endosteal implants.
  • Shorter Healing Time: Recovery time can be shorter because the implant does not require osseointegration with the jawbone.
  • Alternative for Bone Loss: Suitable for patients with insufficient bone density who are not candidates for bone grafts.

Procedure:

The subperiosteal implant procedure involves the following steps:

  1. Impression: An impression of the jawbone is made to create a custom-fit framework.
  2. Surgical Placement: The metal framework is placed under the gum but above the jawbone. The gums are then sutured, securing the framework in place.
  3. Healing and Integration: Over time, the gums heal around the framework, providing stability.

Although subperiosteal implants are a viable alternative for those with insufficient bone, they are less stable than endosteal implants and may not last as long.

3. Zygomatic Implants

Zygomatic implants are the least common type of dental implant and are used in cases of severe bone loss in the upper jaw. These implants are anchored in the zygomatic bone (cheekbone) rather than the jawbone.

Advantages:

  • No Bone Grafting Needed: Ideal for patients with significant bone loss who do not want or cannot undergo bone grafting.
  • Stable and Secure: Provides a stable foundation for the replacement teeth.
  • Shorter Treatment Time: Often, the entire procedure can be completed in fewer visits compared to traditional methods.

Procedure:

The zygomatic implant procedure is more complex and requires more advanced training:

  1. Evaluation: A thorough evaluation, including imaging, is done to plan the placement of the implants.
  2. Surgical Placement: The long implant posts are inserted through the upper jawbone and anchored in the zygomatic bone.
  3. Healing: As with other implants, a healing period is required for the implants to stabilise.
  4. Prosthesis Attachment: Once healed, the artificial teeth are attached to the implants.

Zygomatic implants provide a solution for individuals with severe upper jaw bone loss, offering an alternative to bone grafts and sinus lifts.

Pre and Post-Procedure Care Tips

Pre-Procedure Care Tips:

  • Initial Consultation: Ensure that you have a thorough consultation with your dentist before you begin. You’ll go over your medical history, current medications, and any concerns you may have.
  • Dietary Adjustments: In the days leading up to the procedure, stick to a healthy diet. On the day of the surgery, follow your dentist’s instructions regarding eating and drinking. Typically, you may be asked to fast for a few hours before the procedure.
  • Medication Management: Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. Ensure you understand how and when to take them. If you are on other medications, discuss whether any adjustments are needed.
  • Lifestyle Preparations: Plan for your recovery period. Arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure and prepare soft foods and beverages that will be easy to consume post-surgery.

Post-Procedure Care Tips:

  • Immediate Aftercare: After the surgery, avoid touching the surgical site with your tongue or fingers. Follow your dentist’s instructions on biting down on gauze to control bleeding.
  • Pain Management: Use prescribed pain medications as directed. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can also help manage discomfort.
  • Diet: Stick to soft foods such as yoghurt, applesauce, and mashed potatoes for the first few days. Avoid hot drinks and food, as well as spicy or hard foods that might irritate the surgical site.
  • Oral Hygiene: Maintain oral hygiene with gentle brushing and avoid the surgical site initially. Use a prescribed mouth rinse or warm salt water to keep the area clean.
  • Activity Level: Rest and avoid strenuous activities for a few days post-surgery. Physical exertion can increase swelling and bleeding.
  • Follow-Up Appointments: Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing and address any concerns promptly.
dentist

Comparisons with Other Tooth Replacement Options

Dental Bridges

Procedure

  • Dental bridges involve creating a crown for the teeth on either side of a missing tooth, with a pontic (false tooth) in between.

Advantages: 

  • Quicker process than implants, often completed in a few weeks. 
  • Less invasive as no surgery is required for the placement.

Disadvantages:

  • Requires alteration of adjacent healthy teeth.
  • May not last as long as implants and might need replacement after 10-15 years.
  • Can be less stable and uncomfortable compared to implants.

Dentures-

Procedure:

  • Dentures are removable appliances that replace missing teeth and surrounding tissues. They can be full or partial.

Advantages:

  • Non-invasive and quick to produce.
  • Lower initial cost compared to implants.

Disadvantages:

  • Can be uncomfortable and may slip or move.
  • Requires regular maintenance and possible replacement every 5-8 years.
  • May affect speech and eating efficiency.

Decision-Making Guide

  • Bone Density: If you have sufficient bone density, endosteal implants are often the best choice. If not, consider subperiosteal or zygomatic implants or non-implant options like bridges or dentures.
  • Overall Health: Patients with certain health conditions or who are on medications that affect bone healing might find bridges or dentures more suitable.
  • Budget: While implants have a higher initial cost, their longevity might make them more cost-effective over time. Evaluate your budget and consider financing options.
  • Lifestyle: Consider how each option will fit into your daily life in terms of comfort, maintenance, and functionality.

Choose The Right Dental Implants For You With Ashton Avenue Dental 

Choosing the right type of dental implant depends on various factors, including bone density, overall health, and personal preferences. Endosteal implants are the most common and preferred option for their stability and natural feel. Subperiosteal implants offer a solution for those with insufficient bone who want to avoid grafting. Zygomatic implants provide an alternative for severe upper jaw bone loss. Consulting with a dental professional can help determine the best option tailored to your needs, ensuring you regain both function and aesthetics with confidence.

Ready to transform your smile with dental implants? At Ashton Avenue Dental, our experienced team is here to guide you through every step of the process. Whether you need endosteal, subperiosteal, or zygomatic implants, we provide personalised care to ensure the best results for your dental health. Don’t wait to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted! Call us today at (08) 6120 1822 to schedule your consultation. Let us help you restore your confidence and enjoy the benefits of a complete, beautiful smile.

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