Types of Dental Implants
The two main types of dental implants are the following:
- Endosteal. It is the most commonly used type of implant, where titanium-made screws are planted into jawbones.
- Subperiosteal. It is an optional type of implant when patients do not have a healthy jawbone or elect not to have bone augmentation. In this procedure, the implant is placed only on or above the jawbone.
However, if the patient has an unhealthy jawbone condition and cannot support implants, the following techniques are available to rebuild the jawbone and restore the jawline.
- Bone Augmentation. It involves adding bones to restore the jawbones. This will help in strengthening the bone, thus achieving the best results for the implant.
- Sinus Lift. This technique is also referred to as sinus augmentation or sinus elevation. In this process, a bone will be added underneath the sinus if the natural bone has become worse due to missing upper back teeth.
- Ridge Expansion. This is for patients with a small jaw that cannot support dental implants, wherein the expansion is through adding bone graft material to the ridge, which is a bone around the teeth roots.
What is the Procedure of Dental Implants?
The procedure for dental implants usually run through three phases:
- Implant placement. The dentist will place the implant into the jawbone through surgery. During the healing process, the patient will need to follow a diet, eating only soft foods and warm soup.
- Osseointegration. It is the healing process of the implant. The patient and dentist will wait for the jawbone to grow and hold the implant in place. Usually, it takes three months or more before it completely heals. However, some patients can opt to have both implant and tooth replacement on the same day.
- Artificial tooth placement. The dentist will provide a custom-made tooth or dentures with the same color, size, appearance as the other teeth. In some cases, dentists prepare a temporary artificial tooth or denture before the actual permanent replacement, as the customization of permanent artificial teeth takes time.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Over the years, the benefits of dental implants outweigh the disadvantages. These are some benefits that may vary from patient to patient:
- Provide a great look and feel. The artificial tooth and dentures are designed with a realistic appearance, giving the patient a pleasing appearance with natural teeth. It also allows the patient to enjoy eating the food they want, including hard and crunchy foods.
- Improvement of speech. Teeth help in producing distinct sounds, including speaking. The restoration of teeth will help patients speak more clearly.
- Better oral health. Unlike traditional dentures, implants cause no gum irritation. Thus, it is a fixed solution that provides comfort. Besides, artificial teeth implants cannot get cavities as they are titanium, more resistant to disease.
- Lasting durability. Dental implants can last over a decade, only if patients provide proper oral care. Lack of oral care may cause the implants to break and develop an infection.
- Protect facial bone. Missing teeth may cause jawbone deterioration. Dental implants help in stimulating bone growth and prevents bone loss.
- It may be a single-tooth implant or a complete set. Dentists can provide a single tooth implant or a full set of denture implants.
Disadvantages of Dental Implants
These are disadvantages of opting for dental implants that the patients may consider:
- Require surgery. Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of surgery. However, performing implants without surgery can cause another problem.
- Discomfort after surgery. The actual surgery does not hurt because of the local anesthesia, but the post-surgery may cause the patient to feel uncomfortable.
- Take several months. The procedure of dental implants usually takes several months. The replacement of the artificial teeth can be done three or four months after osseointegration.