The last few decades have witnessed an advancement in implant dentistry.
Many dental techniques and prosthetic materials are now available to meet the rising demand of people who wish to enhance their smiles while maintaining their natural look.
The exponential growth has equally triggered a demand for additional information about dental implants, which occupy the top list of prosthodontics.
Over 500,000 dental implants are placed worldwide annually, which is expected to increase as implantation becomes a more popular technique to replace missing or damaged teeth and achieve a natural-looking tooth replacement.
This guide provides insight into this world to help interested individuals understand the different types of dental implants available and help them determine the most suitable option.
Introduction to Dental Implants
Dental implants are a type of dental restorative and prosthetic treatment.
They consist of a solid metal cylinder (implant) that is surgically placed into the alveolar bone, a procedure known as osseointegration, that supports the teeth.
At the base of the cylinder, or body, is a metal screw that is surgically placed into the jawbone to provide stability and attachment for a crown or bridge that will form the final part of the implant.
This prosthetic attachment is then held in place by a permanent metal post that is surgically placed into the other end of the cylinder. The end of the post protrudes into the mouth, allowing it to support a crown or bridge.
The implant keeps a replacement bridge or tooth in place, without affecting the surrounding bones and tissues. It also feels the closest to natural dentition.
The dental implant procedure has evolved into a more advanced option for replacing missing teeth.
When fixed, the dental region recognizes the new implant as a natural tooth because of the membrane that connects the jaw bone to the crown.
It lasts longer than regular dentures as they are anchored to the jaw bone and are non-removable.
Specifying Dental Implants Based on Type
Before a patient opts for a dental replacement, the individual must understand the implant type that best suits highlighted needs. Dental implants are of two types:
- Subperiosteal implants
- Endosteal implants
These implants are chosen based on where they will be inserted in the jaw. Simply put, the tooth or implant placement tooth within or on the jaw.
This is the simplest of dental implantation. It is positioned on the jawbone, below the gum line. It offers a more immediate option as it can be quickly placed after an extraction, rather than waiting for a healing period.
The patient’s existing teeth should be extracted before implant placement so that the bone at the implant site is at least 4mm wide.
However, the implant is no longer used in dental replacement because, unlike its counterpart, it does not produce satisfactory long-term outcomes.
Another disadvantage is the higher risk of infection due to exposure of the implant to blood. The tissue around the area tends to swell and sometimes the gum and bone tissue can be damaged when healing around it.
Frequently used as a replacement for removable dentures or bridges, the endosteal dental implant is placed directly into the jawbone.
In contrast to its counterpart, which is a titanium post placed on the jawbone, this implant could either be a titanium cylinder, blade, or threaded screw, inserted directly into the jawbone.
It serves as the center of tooth replacement. The implant diameter is usually 3mm to 6mm, depending on how deep into the jawbone the implant is placed.
The implant isn’t only durable, but it is also safe. As a result, dental patients frequently choose this implant to replace lost teeth. A periodontist will drill into the jaw bone.
A titanium screw is then fitted into the drilled hole. It serves as a substitute for a natural root. During this period, the surrounding bone and tissues need to heal around the root, which may take two months or more.
Importantly, the jawbone should be healthy and dense enough to support the implant that will be fastened in place.
In the absence of these conditions, an endosteal implant will not be an ideal option as it wouldn’t support the implant. The alternative would be a subperiosteal implant.
Once the process is completed, the patient’s dental health is restored to its original state. Patients can be able to continue their usual diet and lifestyle, without the fear of the implant failing.
Ideal Candidate for Dental Implants
Undergoing a dental implant requires that the patient meet certain criteria relating to bone, age, and overall health.
As previously stated, bone density and health are important factors in successfully fusing a dental implant into the target location. When a tooth is broken or knocked out, the bone around it deteriorates.
If the situation worsens, the implant will be unable to stay in place due to a lack of bone density in the surrounding region.
Before undergoing the procedure, the dental specialist conducts a 3D examination of the patient’s mouth and jaw bone using a CBT scanner.
Bone quality may be assessed using the information obtained. The procedure may begin if it satisfies the condition; otherwise, the patient may undergo bone grafting to help the affected area regenerate.
Like bone, the condition of the patient’s age also plays a critical role in a successful outcome. A dental implant is not recommended for people below the age of 18, since their jaws are still growing.
Younger patients also have a very thin and soft bone in the jaw, making implant placement challenging.
Patients from the ages of 20 have fully developed facial structures. This implies dense jawbones that are generally strong enough to support a new implant.
In general, adults tend to have sufficient bone density for the procedure. For patients over the age of 60, the procedure is viable but, as the jaw bone becomes brittle, the implant could fail.
Another important consideration is the overall state of health of the patient. There’s a greater risk of problems when teeth are missing.
If the patient has issues with blood clotting or any other systemic disease, the risk of complications rises. To mitigate this, the patient’s overall health should be checked by the practitioner before the procedure begins.
Dental implants are a reliable and stable treatment option to replace missing teeth and provide dental patients with unparalleled aesthetics and function.
Various methods of placement are available, depending on the patient’s jawbone condition, age, overall health, and implant stability. It all boils down to finding the right implant dentist.
Kate is a health & lifestyle blogger who spends her entire day writing quality blogs. She is a passionate reader and loves to share quality content prevalent on the web with her friends and followers and keeping a keen eye on the latest trends and news in those industries.