Types of Dental Implants: Which is Best for You?

Missing teeth? You’re not alone – over 178 million Americans have at least one. The good news is: things can change! Dental implants, available in various types, can replace missing teeth, look and feel natural, and restore your confidence. But with so many dental implant options, how do you choose the right one? We’ve got you covered! Our blog post will explore the different types, components, and process of dental implants. Plus, we’ll share our best care tips for your new replacement teeth!

What are dental implants?

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In the world of dentistry, dental implants are a recent and revolutionary development. These are artificial teeth replacements that are placed into the jawbone, offering a permanent solution for missing teeth. Dental implants are usually made from biocompatible materials like titanium that fuse with the natural jaw bone, providing a solid foundation for artificial teeth. Unlike dentures, dental implants offer a permanent solution for people with missing or damaged teeth, allowing them to easily regain confidence and smile. Dental implants resemble natural teeth and necessitate identical maintenance for good oral health.

What are the components of dental implants?

A single dental implant is made up of three main components: the implant post, the abutment, and the dental crown.

1. The implant post:

 It is a small metal screw that is placed into the jawbone. This serves as the artificial tooth root on which the abutment and dental crown will be placed.

2. The abutment

The abutment, usually made of titanium or zirconia, is a tiny connector piece that joins the implant.

3. The dental crown

The crown, visible above the gum line, replaces missing teeth with a custom-made porcelain or ceramic structure which seamlessly integrates with the patient’s other teeth. This solution restores smile confidence while endeavouring to maintain a natural dental appearance.

Who needs a dental implant?

Dental implants have become a common and popular solution for replacing missing or damaged teeth. While most people are familiar with traditional dentures and bridges, dental implants offer a more permanent and natural-looking alternative. Anyone who has experienced trauma to their teeth, gum disease, or loss of teeth due to ageing can benefit from a dental implant. Moreover, dental implants can be a great option for those who dislike wearing traditional dentures or have struggled with discomfort and difficulty eating.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

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Dental implants offer numerous benefits, including:

Improved oral health: Dental implants are more stable and secure than dentures or bridges, so they don’t require as much maintenance. They also help maintain healthy bone structure in the jaw, which is important for oral health.

Natural look and feel: Dental implants are specifically designed to resemble your natural teeth, ensuring you can speak and smile confidently as if they were your own.

Lasting solution: Dental implants are crafted as a lasting resolution for missing or damaged teeth. With proper maintenance, they can endure up to 25 years or longer, providing both longevity and functionality.

Improved comfort: Unlike dentures, dental implants don’t require the use of adhesives or cause irritation to the gums.

Improved diet: Dental implants allow you to eat a wider variety of foods and can help improve your overall nutrition.

What are the main types of dental implants?

Dental implants come in two main types – endosteal and subperiosteal implants. 

  1. Endosteal implants:

These are the most frequently used type of dental implant and are placed directly into the jawbone. Endosteal implants can be made from titanium, stainless steel, or zirconia.

  1. Subperiosteal implants:

Subperiosteal implants are fitted on the jawbone’s surface instead of directly inside. This type of implant is used for patients who do not have enough healthy bone tissue to support endosteal implants. They are typically made from an alloy of titanium, chrome, and cobalt.

Other types of dental implants

  1. Traditional Implants

Traditional implants are the most common type of dental implant. Esteemed for their strength and durability, they can endure many years with proper care and maintenance.

  1. Mini Implants

Mini implants are a specific type of dental implant that differs in size from traditional ones, being smaller in dimensions. Mini implants are less invasive than traditional implants and can be placed in patients with bones unsuitable for traditional implants.

  1. All-on-Four Implants

All-on-Four implants are used if you are missing multiple teeth, as they can support an entire set of false teeth. Moreover, they can also provide support for partial dentures. 

  1. Zygomatic Implants

Zygomatic implants offer an alternative to traditional dental implants, as they are fixed into the cheekbone instead of the jawbone. They are used in patients who do not have enough bone in their jaws to support traditional implants. Zygomatic implants are distinct from traditional implants, both in size and procedure. Unlike conventional choices, these require two surgeries for insertion because of their increased length.

  1. Transosseous Implants

Transosseous implants are a type of dental implant that is placed through the top of the skull into the jawbone. They are used in patients who do not have enough bone in their jaws to support traditional implants, and they can be more difficult to place than other types of dental implants.

What are the stages of dental implant placement?

  1. Dental implant placement:

The first stage of dental implant placement is the surgical placement of the implant into the jawbone. This is typically done under local anaesthesia, though sedation may be used if necessary. The dentist will create a tiny cut in the gum tissue and insert the implant into a hole drilled into the jawbone. This procedure is minimally invasive and can ensure a precise fit for your implant, promoting optimal healing. Once the implant is in place, the incision will be closed with sutures.

  1. Abutment placement:

The second stage of dental implant placement is the placement of the abutment. This small connector piece attaches to the implant and protrudes from the gum line. Your dentist will place the abutment after the implant has healed and fused to the jawbone, which can take several months.

  1. Dental prosthetic placement:

The third stage of dental implant placement is the placement of the dental prosthetic. This is typically done once the abutment has been placed and the implant has healed. The prosthetic can be either a denture, dental bridge, or crown, depending on your needs and preferences.

  1. Adjustment of the prosthetic:

The fourth and final stage of dental implant placement is the adjustment and fitting of the prosthetic. This is typically done a few weeks after the prosthetic has been placed. During this appointment, your dentist will make any necessary adjustments to ensure your prosthetic fits comfortably and securely.

What to expect after dental implant placement?


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Once the dental implants have been placed, following special care instructions as directed by your dentist is important. Initially, you may experience some swelling and tenderness in the area around the implant, which is normal. It is also common to have a slight metallic taste in your mouth after the procedure. You should avoid chewing hard foods and flossing near the implants for at least two weeks after placement.

Your dentist might prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection and will schedule subsequent appointments to monitor the healing process, ensuring proper recovery. After your implants have healed and fused with the surrounding bone, you can resume your regular oral care routine.

How long do dental implants take to heal?

The healing process for dental implants can take anywhere from 3-6 months. During this time, your body forms a strong bond with the implant as it integrates with the surrounding bone. If there is not enough bone tissue, your dentist may need to perform a bone graft before placing the implant. This process must be completed before you can receive your permanent replacement teeth.

Are dental implants painful?

No, dental implants are not painful. To ensure your utmost comfort and minimise pain, your dentist may administer a local anaesthetic during implant placement surgery. Following the procedure, you may encounter minor swelling or discomfort. Fortunately, the pain can be effectively managed with over-the-counter medications. However, most people only need to take these medications for a couple of days. 

What are the potential risks of getting dental implants? 

While they are a safe and effective treatment option, some risks are associated with the procedure. One potential risk is infection, which can occur during or after the implant surgery. Another risk is implant failure, which may be caused by the implant not fusing properly with the jawbone or the implant becoming loose over time. Moreover, while there exists a small chance of nerve damage causing numbness or tingling in the mouth, the incidence of such complications is relatively low and can be mitigated by opting for an experienced and adept dental implant provider. As with any medical procedure, it’s imperative to discuss any concerns with your dentist and carefully consider the risks and advantages of implant treatment before deciding.

Dental implants Vs other restorative options

Dental implants offer an excellent alternative for missing teeth, but they aren’t the solution for everyone. Before deciding, it’s key to weigh other tooth restoration methods, such as dentures or bridges. Taking the time to consider and compare your options helps ensure that you find the best choice for your individual needs.

Dentures: Dentures are prosthetic teeth that provide a restorative aesthetic solution for those missing teeth. While dentures are a cost-effective solution, they can be irritating and uncomfortable. They can also cause difficulty with speaking and eating and may require frequent adjustment.

Dental bridges: Bridges are prosthetics that use adjacent teeth as support for replacement teeth. Although dental bridges are common, they lack the stability and durability of dental implants. In addition, they are not suitable for people with several missing teeth in a row.

Your dentist can assist in determining the optimal restorative option based on individual needs and preferences, ensuring your dental experience is tailored to you and your unique circumstances.

What are the care tips for dental implants?


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Dental implants require the same level of care as natural teeth. To ensure that your dental implant lasts for many years, it is important to practice good oral hygiene and keep up with regular check-ups. To keep your implant in great shape, follow these tips:

• Twice a day, make sure to brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that has fluoride. Not only does it promote good oral hygiene and health, but it also keeps your smile shining bright.

• Floss around the implant at least once per day to remove food particles and plaque.

• Use an anti-plaque mouthwash to help reduce bacteria buildup near the implant.

• Make sure you pay a visit to your dentist at appropriate intervals. Regular dental check-ups are crucial to ensure the proper functionality of your implant.

• Avoid eating sticky, hard, or overly chewy foods that could put extra strain on the implant.

• Avoid smoking and tobacco products, as they can increase the risk of failure for dental implants.

Following these tips can help you maintain a healthy smile and ensure that your dental implant lasts for many years to come.

Conclusion:

Dental implants offer a safe and effective way to replace missing or damaged teeth. They provide a secure foundation for artificial teeth, improve oral health and hygiene, and can last for many years with proper care. With the wide range of implant types available, there is sure to be a solution that fits your individual needs and preferences.

At our dental clinic, we specialise in various types of dental implants that can transform your smile and boost your confidence. Our team of dental professionals believes in providing tailored solutions customised to address each patient’s unique needs. Say goodbye to missing teeth and hello to a renewed confidence. Schedule an appointment with us today and take the first step to a healthier and more charming smile. We are eagerly anticipating your arrival!

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

References 

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/dental-implant-surgery/about/pac-20384622
  2. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dental-implant