4 Dental Implants to Choose From
In the past, removable dentures or fixed bridges were virtually the only viable options for those with missing teeth. But today, advances in dentistry have made dental implants an exciting new option — and one that is growing in popularity with every passing year.
And as dental implants become more common, their cost continues to drop. Affordable dental implants are now a reality, especially as they are now covered by many dental insurance plans.
But there is more than one type of dental implant to choose from. There are a number of brands and minor variations to consider, but we can divide them into four categories as follows:
1. Endosteal Dental Implants
This is the most common type of implant. Its distinguishing characteristic is that the titanium root is inserted into the jawbone.
A small hole will be made through the gums and into the underlying bone material. The implant will fuse to the surrounding bone in a matter of months and will be firmly entrenched so as to allow for fully normal chewing.
The metal root will be shaped like a screw, cylinder, or plate, and a dental crown is attached to the top. Alternatively, the implants can act as anchors for permanent dentures. And dentures supported by dental implants are much more stable, functional, and comfortable in your mouth.
2. Subperiosteal Dental Implants
Subperiosteal implants differ from endosteal in that they are placed on top of the bone rather than inside of it. The reason for making this adjustment is normally that the patient’s alveolar ridge bone, the part of the jawbone into which teeth are anchored, is too thin.
This type of implant will be shaped like a kind of metal frame with metal posts projecting upwards from its base, through the gums, and supporting a dental crown.
There is no need to fear that subperiosteal implants will be any less effective than endosteal implants. Whether placed on or in the bone, the titanium root will firmly fuse to it. And there are high-quality, affordable dental implants of both types on the market.
3. Mini Dental Implants
This is a more recently innovated type of dental implant and one only used in very special circumstances. When bone in the jaw is worn down considerably, too much even for a subperiosteal implant, a mini implant can often still be used.
It is true that bone grafting can build up shallow bone to enable one to take an ordinary, “full-sized” implant, but this can involve extra cost and surgery. Plus, mini implants can usually be finished same-day.
Minis are particularly used as anchors for dentures in patients who have long worn removable dentures. The old dentures may have worn down their alveolar ridge to the point where either mini implants or bone grafting are the only viable options.
4. Temporary Dental Implants
Temporary implants are sometimes used since it can be weeks/months between stages of implant surgery. A retainer with artificial teeth can also be used for this purpose.
Temporary implants are especially common for front teeth, which are so visible and important for chewing. A temporary implant will be fixed in place, so there’s no need to remove it for cleaning (just give it ordinary oral care like your natural teeth).
In effect, a temporary implant is a temporary crown on top of your implant root. It can be held in place by dental cement or a small screw. While convenient, temporary implants must not be bit down on too hard.
To learn more about affordable dental implants or schedule an appointment in Central Florida, contact Dr. Manuel Stefan.