What Are The Different Types Of Dental Implants?
Dental implants make a convenient alternative to traditional dentures. Instead of having fake teeth that can be taken in and out at will, your implant will be surgically attached. In fact, many people with dental implants forget that they are even there.
However, not all implants are the same. Endosteal implants are surgically connected right into the jawbone. The surrounding gum tissue is given time to heal, then a second surgery connects a post to the original implant. An artificial tooth (or teeth) is then attached to the post. Sub periosteal implants are made from a metal frame that is fitted onto the jawbone instead of into it. The gums then heal around it, fixing it to the jawbone. Posts protrude through the gums for artificial teeth to be attached to.
Beyond this central distinction, dental implants can be broken up into the following categories:
- Single Tooth Replacement: As the name suggests, these use a single implant to support a single crown.
- Multiple Tooth Replacement: Multiple missing teeth are replaced with multiple implants, sometimes up to a full arch (jaw). The number of pieces will depend upon the number and position of missing teeth.
- Fixed and Removable Bridgework: A combination of both where implants are employed to support a section of fixed bridgework, with a removable section attached.
- Over-Dentures: Two or more implants are used to provide stabilisation for both a denture and the underlying bone. Full dentures press directly on the bone, but the implant provides protection. This is a particularly common type of implant for those who have lost all of the teeth in one or both jaws.
- Anchorage Implants: Smaller implants are used to ensure stability.
- Temporary Bridgework: Micro-implants are used as a temporary measure, and are later removed when permanent implants are completely healed. This means that patients don’t have to go without teeth for any length of time.
The type of dental implant which you are given will depend greatly upon your own given situation, but it’s always important to ask your dentist exactly what the advantages and drawbacks are for each option.