If you’re looking to replace a single or many teeth, it is likely that you’ve heard about dental implants. Dental implants are surgically implanted devices that anchor into or sit on top of the bone underlying the gum and hold an implant in place of the tooth. These implants look, feel, and work just like your natural teeth. There are many advantages of dental implants over other tooth replacement options. It is important to understand the different types of dental implants so that you can decide on your best fit.
Two Basic Types
Endosteal – Endosteal implants are implants that are surgically implanted into the bone. This is the preferred method for dentists to use because it securely anchors the implant into the underlying bone. Endosteal implants are less prone to failure and generally have a longer lifespan than subperiosteal implants. Additionally, because this is the most common implant type, many more dentists have extensive experience in the placement and maintenance of endosteal implants. Finally, endosteal implants also help to regrow the surrounding bone to help anchor the bone in place. This not only prevents bone resorption but can increase the bone density in areas where a tooth was lost.
Subperiosteal – Subperiosteal implants are designed to be placed underneath the gum tissue but attach over the top of the bone. These implants are typically used if there isn’t enough underlying bone in place. While this method is not generally recommended before endosteal implants, it can offer an avenue for patients who are not a good fit for other implant types.
Some patients who are weighing options between full dentures and implants also have another possible choice. All-On-4 implants are designed for patients who need an entire arch of their mouth (the entire upper or lower gumline) replaced. This method installs four posts into the gum line, and then an implant is created that replaces the entire row of teeth, but only attaches to those four posts. This offers patients with a secure and durable implant without having to consider using dentures. Patients who receive the All-On-4 procedure find that they can treat the implants just like their natural teeth, and they don’t have to worry about additional care, dentures coming loose at embarrassing times, or difficulties with breathing or speech caused by ill-fitting dentures.
Dental implants offer great benefits over traditional dentures or bridges. The actual benefits between dentures can vary based on the patients need. Dentists typically prefer the endosteal implants for their high success rate and long lifespan. One of the main benefits of dental implants for patients can be the security that they feel by not having to worry about an implant coming loose if they are eating certain types of food. Additionally, there are no special adhesives or cleaners that you have to use for your implants. This makes the care especially easy.
Dentists see one of the biggest benefits for patients as it pertains to potential bone loss. When you lose a tooth, your body will start to resorb or remove the bone that used to support that tooth because it is no longer needed. Over time, this bone resorption can cause additional tooth decay or loss. In extreme cases, bone resorption can lead to facial deformities. Dental implants mimic the root structure of your natural teeth, so your body actually builds new bone around it. This helps to not only stop bone resorption but can reverse some of that loss.
If you are considering dental implants, there are a few different options. Your dentist can help you decide what the best fit is for your specific needs. Call to schedule an appointment today.