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Types of Dental Implants

3 minutes to read

Posted: Jun 10, 2021

So, you’ve had enough of meaningless flings and are now looking for a more permanent dental relationship? Then dental implants might be the right life partner for you, especially if you only have a small gap to fill. Just like with different dentures, implants come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types. We’re here with an explanation to help you know your endosteal from your subperiosteal. Read on to learn more about the different types of denture implants.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are metal anchors that your dentist surgically positions into the jawbone. These implants are then used to mount replacement teeth. Since implants are fused into the jawbone, they help support any artificial teeth securely.

You’ll need healthy gums and enough bone to support the implant. The cost of getting dental implants is also greater than getting partial dentures or complete dentures, and most insurance plans only cover around 10% of the price.

Full Mouth Dental Implants

Full mouth dental implants replace both sets of teeth as well as their roots. They look and function like natural teeth and are also long-lasting. Many find them more comfortable and sturdy when compared with traditional dentures; plus, they don’t need as much maintenance, as you only need to brush and floss them as you would natural teeth. Since full mouth dental implants replace the previous tooth roots, this can also help prevent deterioration in the jawbone.

Partial Dental Implants

A partial dental implant (which can be a multiple tooth-supported fixed bridge or a denture bridge), uses one or more dental implants to support and retain a tooth bridge. Dental implants offer a stable base, and an implant-supported bridge can also replace multiple teeth in a row.

What Types of Dental Implants Are There?

The most common type of implant is the endosteal implant. This is a titanium implant shaped like a small screw which is placed in the jawbone. In the past, subperiosteal implants—those which go under the gum but can also be bolted onto or above the jawbone—were also used but are very rare today.

Infographic showing the components of an endosteal implant

Alternative Dental Implant Techniques

There are also alternative dental implants you can get if you prefer something a little different. Here are a few alternatives to your standard dental implants:

  • Immediate Load Dental Implants. This is just a fancy way of saying same-day dental implants.

  • Mini Dental Implants (MDIs). These implants are smaller and narrower than standard implants and are more suitable in cases where the bone will not support conventional implants.

Dental implants replacing multiple teeth:

  • All-on-4® dental implants. This type offers you an alternative placement to a top or bottom set of dentures, which is also called a full arch. Here, four dental implants are placed into the bone with the use of special abutments so temporary replacement teeth can be placed in that day. After six months, once the gum has healed, the temporary teeth are replaced with a permanent set.

Infographic showing an all-on-4 implant and its components

What Are Dental Implants Made Of?

Dental implants are made from titanium alloy, a biocompatible metal, as the chances of having an allergic reaction to titanium are very low. Titanium alloy is also used in other kinds of implants, like hip, shoulder, and knee implants.

Consult your nearest dental professional regarding the dental implant options you may have. You can have a chat with your dentist about your options, so you can have the implant relationship you’re looking for to go out and bite through life.

FAQs All About Dental Implants

How do dental implants work?

Dental implants are surgically anchored to the jawbone and are then used to mount replacement teeth. This makes dental implants secure and allows them to be used for a long time.

Are dental implants safe?

Most of the time, dental implants are safe, but, of course, like anything in life, there are some risks; for example, there is a chance of potential complications from surgery, including infection, gum recession, and nerve or tissue damage. Talk to your dentist to be clear on your potential risks and discuss your concerns.

What are mini dental implants?

Mini dental implants are a new type of implant that uses a single-piece screw smaller than 3 mm in diameter. They are good for those who are unable to have traditional implants. Although they have some added benefits, like lower cost and faster results, they are more of a temporary solution.

What is the best kind of tooth implant?

There is no one answer as to the best kind of tooth implant, since everyone is different. Talk to your dentist about your needs, and you’ll be sure to find the right kind of dental implant for you.

What are the different kinds of implants?

The most common dental implant is the endosteal implant. Subperiosteal is another type of implant, but it’s rare today. There are also alternative dental implants, like:

  • Immediate load dental implants

  • Mini dental implants

  • All-on-4® dental implants

Are dental implants worth it?

Dental implants have many benefits, such as their durability (they can last more than 20 years), stability, and comfort. You don’t need to remove implants when you go to bed, which is another plus for some.

Who should not get dental implants?

Although most people can get dental implants, you may need to be evaluated on an individual basis if you:

  • Are a heavy smoker

  • Suffer from chronic disorders like diabetes or heart disease

  • Are undergoing radiation therapy in the head or neck area

Talk to your dentist to see if dental implants are an option for you.

How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants can last up to 20 years or more.

Does food get under dental implants?

You should not get food stuck under your dental implants.

Do gums grow around implants?

Your gums will gradually grow around the dental implant to provide support, just as they would do with your natural teeth. Your dentist will keep an eye on the healing process to make sure the gums don’t grow over the implant completely.

Are teeth implants painful?

No, as you’ll be under local or general anesthesia when you get dental implants. You may feel some mild pain afterwards, but no worse than if you had a tooth extraction.

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