Single-Stage Or Two-Stage? Considering Which Dental Implants Work For You

If you are missing teeth, you may be excited to pursue dental implants. Although some people think there is only one type of dental implant, you actually have a couple of choices at your disposal. The different kinds of dental implants can be divided into two main categories: single-stage or two-stage. Read on to learn more about these types and which kind may be best for your needs. 

Single-Stage Implants

Like the name would suggest, single-stage implants (also known as subperiosteal implants) are inserted in one go. When the implant posts are placed, the abutment — the portion that attaches to the post and the crown — will also be placed and sit above your gumline.

It may feel odd to have the abutment sticking out of the gumline, but it's important for the implant to integrate into the bone for at least three to six months before a crown is placed. This abutment isn't painful or sharp, as your dentist will suture a smooth healing cap over it. If your bone and gums are strong enough, your dentist may even place a temporary crown.

The great benefit of single-stage implants is that you can get the procedure over and done with in one appointment. The downside is that the choice of candidates is limited for this procedure; patients need to already have strong bone tissue and gum tissue, or the risk of infection increases.

Best for candidates with healthy gum tissue and bone tissue.

Two-Stage Implants

Two-stage implants, or endosteal implants, require two surgeries. During the first surgery, your dentist will insert the implant and then suture gum tissue to cover them completely. If the implant takes, then about three to six months later, you'll have the second surgery. During this surgery, your dentist will uncover the implant and place the abutment. Your dentist will then cover the abutment with a single crown or a bridge.

Two-stage implants are a popular choice for many patients because they can be used with bone grafts. When the implant is covered, the risks of infection are lower, and the implant has a better chance of stabilizing. The obvious disadvantage is that you have to undergo the trauma of two surgeries.

Besides one- and two-stage surgeries, implants can be categorized by size and shape. For instance, blade implants are flat titanium implants that are great for the strong forces of back teeth, while threaded implants look more like screws. Once you decided if you want one- or two-stage implants, you'll then need to consult with your dentist about other implant sub-categories. Contact a dentist in your local area for more information on dental implants.