Disease and injury are common causes of tooth loss which, in turn, may lead to imperfect speech, rapid bone loss in the jaw, and uncomfortable chewing patterns. Different types of dental implants have been known to significantly improve the quality of life and health after tooth loss.
A dental implant has three parts — post, abutment, and crown. A periodontist surgically inserts the post into your jawbone as the new dental root. Then, the abutment, and sometimes an abutment fixation screw, are attached to the implant post and extend through the gum. Finally, a crown attaches to the abutment and blends in with the rest of your teeth.
Here we’ll discuss the different types of dental implants available today, the materials used to create them, and how to know if you need a dental implant.
Types Of Dental Implants
In the past, screw-type endosteal, blade and subperiosteal implants were commonly used to replace missing teeth. However, with more research and clinical-based studies, the only type of implant that is considered to be standard of care today is the screw-type implant.
Dental Implant Materials
Titanium is the standard dental implant material because of its overall strength, low failure rate, and high corrosion resistance. Other reasons your periodontist may use titanium dental implants include the following:
- Biocompatibility: There’s an extremely low chance your body will reject a titanium implant; it’s also used in artificial hips, bone screws, and heart valves.
- Ability to ossify: The process of the titanium fusing or integrating with the jaw bone tissue.
- Reduced thermal conductivity: Hot or cold foods won’t irritate the implant or surrounding area.
- Success rate: Titanium dental implants have a 97% success rate or higher.
Zirconia dental implants were introduced in the early 2010s and are a practical metal-free alternative. They’re also used for patients with autoimmune disorders or metal allergies. Other reasons to use this type of dental implant include:
- Biocompatibility: Similar to titanium, zirconia implants have a low rejection rate.
- Low bacterial attraction: This material is less receptive to plaque buildup, which improves your periodontal health.
- Strength: Zirconia implants are strong but not as strong as titanium implants.
- Aesthetics: Zirconia implants are white, making them a good option for aesthetic areas.
The Different Types of Procedures For Dental Implants
Implant dentistry offers several options for patients who want to enjoy the improved oral function and overall quality of life with different types of dental implant procedures.
Single Tooth Dental Implants
This procedure anchors a single-tooth dental implant into your jawbone. A single-tooth dental implant looks and feels natural and doesn’t impede your ability to eat or speak.
Dental Implant Bridges
In this procedure, the dental bridge attaches to two or more implants and fills the gap in between. The bridge is not removable except by your dentist or periodontist.
Multiple Tooth Dental Implants
Another option when multiple teeth are missing is to use multiple individual tooth dental implants that fill a gap. Your periodontist may perform the implant procedures over a number of appointments depending on the location of your missing teeth.
Full-Mouth Dental Implants
During a full-mouth dental implant procedure, the periodontist places implants, usually four to eight, into your jawbone to be the permanent anchors. Then, abutments are attached to the implants in preparation for the artificial or prosthetic teeth. These artificial teeth are also sometimes referred to as fixed full dentures.
If you have unusually large sinuses or your sinus passages are too close to your upper jawbone, you may require a sinus augmentation before dental implant placement. During this procedure, your sinus floor, located behind your cheeks and above the upper jaw, is lifted to make room for new bone formation.
Ridge modification is used when the upper or lower jaw has inadequate bone structure for placing an implant. An inadequate bone may be caused by developmental defects, injury, periodontal disease, trauma, or wearing dentures. A bone graft or bone substitute fills the space inside the ridge to establish a replacement. Once ridge modification is complete and healed (for individuals needing it), your periodontist can perform the dental implant procedure.
How To Determine When You May Need a Dental Implant
While your dentist or periodontist is the best person to determine whether you need a dental implant, other signs include:
- Missing one or more of your natural teeth;
- A broken or severely cracked tooth can’t be saved;
- Loose-fitting dentures or partial dentures; and
- A sunken jawbone or jawline
Who Is a Good Candidate For Dental Implants?
Your dentist or periodontist will determine if you’re a good candidate. Factors affecting your candidacy include:
- You have good overall and oral health.
- Your jaw has sufficient support for an implant, or your periodontist believes a bone graft will support implants.
- Your gum tissues are healthy and free of periodontal disease.
Good oral health is crucial since the implants connect to your mouth’s hard and soft tissues.
What To Expect After Dental Implant Procedure
Follow all instructions from your periodontist and attend your regular checkup appointments. Contact your periodontal office if the implant feels loose or if you notice any signs of infection.
Contact Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester to Learn More About Dental Implants
Not only does your smile affect how you feel mentally, it affects your overall health. Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester offers a range of professional implant dentistry options. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation. 585-685-2005