September 29, 2020

What are the Different Types of Dental Implants?


The good news is that bridges and dentures are no longer the only options you have if you have a missing tooth. Today, there are various types of dental implants that can complete your smile. With up to a 98% success rate, dental implants are a great option and one you should discuss with your trusted dental professional. This post will explain the different types of dental implants available so you have the information you need to help find the right dental implant for you. 

The Basics: What are Dental Implants? 

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), dental implants include an artificial root that resembles a screw and is surgically implanted into your jawbone which bonds with your natural bone. A connector, also known as abutment, is used to hold your artificial tooth known as a crown in place. 

As for interesting information, here are few facts you may not know about dental implants that could prove useful come trivia night. 

  • The Mayans get credit for the first dental implant back in 600 A.D.
  • 3 million people in the United States have dental implants and that number is increasing by about 500,000 each year
  • It is the only dental restoration option that both helps promote bone growth while preserving the natural bone

Now that you know some dental implant facts, it’s time to dive into some of the reasons you may make for a strong dental implant surgery candidate. 

  • Missing teeth due to periodontal disease
  • Missing teeth due to an injury 
  • Missing teeth due to genetics 

To be a strong candidate for a dental implant procedure patients should have: 

  • Overall good dental health 
  • Substantial bone in jaw
  • Ideally free from periodontal disease
  • Inability or disinterest in wearing dentures

Once you work with your dentist and periodontist to identify if you’re a strong dental implant candidate, you’ll have a discussion to understand the different types of dental implants to find the best option for you. 

While each dental implant has its own nuances, the main process for all dental implants consists of the following steps: damaged tooth removal, jawbone preparation (grafting), when needed, dental implant placement, bone growth and healing, abutment placement and artificial tooth placement and of course follow-up visits.

The five different type of dental implants this post will detail include: 

1. Endosteal Implants

In short, endosteal implants are done in the bone and are the most commonly used implant. Screws, cylinders, blades hold the teeth for patients that have bridges or or removable dentures. The small titanium root such as the screw, is placed in the jawbone which then holds the replacement tooth.

Learn more about endosteal implants here

2. Subperiosteal Implants

The opposite of endosteal implants are subperiosteal implants which are done on the bone. This is often the implant of choice when there is not adequate bone to hold the implant. They are placed on or above the jaw bone to hold the replacement tooth.

3. All-on-4 Dental Implants

All-on-4 dental implants are often a viable option for adults who want to avoid dentures. A small titanium screw is placed into your jaw which replaces the root of the missing tooth. This requires a small surgery. Once that is done, a crown is connected, with the end result being a very real looking and functional tooth. They’re known as all-on-4 as implants as 4 implants are used per jaw. 


4. Implant Overdentures 

As long as you’re healthy enough for tooth extraction, implant overdentures are a great alternative to traditional dentures. Overdentures are placed on top of implants which can add stability when compared to traditional dentures. The benefits of overdentures often include an easier time chewing foods, improved speech, minimized discomfort, no more denture adhesives and often existing dentures can be used. 


5. Implant Supported Bridges 

Implant supported bridges are a good option when one or more teeth are missing, if you don’t have enough jawbone to support an implant, or if a nerve is nearby. Implant supported bridges have three pieces. 

  • The implant
  • The abutment
  • The restoration

The good news is that this dental implant can reduce pressure on your individual implant caused by grinding your teeth.

As for a timeline for implant supported bridges, your experience will begin with an initial consultation which will include x-rays, dental history, taking impressions, and possible CT scan if multiple teeth are missing. This will be followed by the first surgery. Once the implant is healed, a second surgery will follow where a small incision is made and is a simpler surgery than the first. The fourth step is the restoration stage and at the final visit a permanent bridge will be attached.  

What Should I Expect After a Dental Implant Procedure? 

Some discomfort, bleeding, swelling and bruising are all common side effects post a dental implant procedure. The process of dental implants is one that takes time, patience and multiple visits to your trusted dental professional. Pain medication and antibiotics are commonly prescribed after a dental implant surgery. If you’ve had dental implants, the importance of practicing excellent oral hygiene, visiting your dentist regularly and avoiding damaging habits such as chewing ice or hard candy are vitally important. The great news is that dental implants have a 90-95% success rate

So Which Dental Implant Option is Best for You? 

First, thank you for reading our post on the five different types of dental implants and hopefully you feel a bit more informed on this dental procedure. 

Dr. Lawrence Lesperance and his skilled and caring team are the top dental implant dentist practice in Coral Gables who will help guide you on the best dental implant option. 

Time to book a dental implant consultation or need a routine cleaning? Schedule your appointment now. 


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