What Dental Implant Type Is Best For You?

The days of depending on dentures and bridges alone are gone. Dental patients now can make their smile complete using dental implants. Some patients may not realize that there are choices in what type of implant you choose. Read on and find out more.

Dental Implant Procedures 

The type of implant you choose may vary but the procedure is generally the same. The steps usually consist of removing the damaged tooth (if necessary), performing a bone graft for those with weakened jawbones, placing the dental implant post into the jawbone, and placing the abutment and crown (artificial tooth) on top of the post.

Types of Implants

Endosteal Implants

Almost all implants are endosteal. This involves the implantation of the post into the jawbone. In many cases, the implant process is paused for several months once the post is implanted to allow for the site to heal and for the bones to grow around the post. That is what makes an implant so long-lasting; it's literally bonded to your jawbone.

Subperiosteal Implants

Not everyone is a candidate for endosteal implants. When the patient wants a quicker process and/or does not have the adequate bone density to hold a long post, a shorter post is placed. Some posts don't come into contact at all with the jawbone and rest above it or on top of it. In many cases, this type of implant, while it's not as stable, is performed in a single procedure. Since the post is not sunk into the jawbone, there is no wait for the bone to heal. More care must be taken afterward for this type of implant, however.

All-on-Four Implants

This procedure works well for those who need to fill in more than one or two missing teeth. It involves the implantation of a post with a crown. The implanted tooth then supports two to four more nonremovable dentures. More than one all-on-four implant can be performed if the patient needs a full arch. It combines the stability of an implant with the cost-effectiveness of a denture. The pressure of the artificial teeth also helps to promote and preserve bone growth.

The above list is only the beginning of the numerous ways implants can be used to help those missing teeth.

What Happens Afterward?

The instructions you get from your dentist will depend on what type of implant you chose and what type of anesthesia was used. In general, though, you may be instructed to

  • Avoid hard foods for a while
  • Watch for signs of infection and return to the dentist right away if you notice any
  • Brush, floss, and care for your implants just as you would for your other teeth

Speak to your dentist to learn more about dental implants.