Different Types of Dental Implants
Dental implants are arguably the best solution for missing teeth. Their main attraction is their permanence; dental implants will last a lifetime, so after the initial procedure, patients can forget they ever had an issue.
Perhaps for this reason, dental implants are becoming more popular. They are a wonderful alternative to false teeth, for example, as implants are fixed in place rather than needing to be inserted each day. If you have considered dental implants and want to know more, then the first question you will need to ask yourself is what type of dental implant you want from Club Dental.
One and Two-Stage Implants
It is estimated that there are over 40 different types of implants available today. There’s no “one type fits all” way of judging which will work for you; you will need to discuss your options with your orthodontist.
The simplest way of categorizing dental implants is to do so by the procedure of insert. The vast majority of implants will be one of the following:
- A single-stage procedure. Single-stage implants require only one surgery to be complete, making these a natural preference if you find the idea of the insertion procedure to be daunting.
- A two-stage procedure. As suggested, these procedures involve two operations, which are carried out at separate times.
When you know how many operations you’re willing to undergo, then you can investigate further the kind of implants that you want.
The Basic Implant Structure
Both single and dual-stage implants will require the fitting of the three key components of a dental implant:
- The implant serves as a new root for your teeth, and is directly connected to your jawbone.
- The crown is the prosthetic tooth; the part that will be visible. Most crowns look like standard teeth.
- The abutment, which connects the implant to the crown.
So working from the jawline up, a dental implant consists of:
- Layer one: the implant, connected to the jawbone.
- Layer two: the abutment, which connects to the implant
- Layer three: the crown, which connects to the abutment.
Now you know exactly what dental implants entail, you can dive deeper into the insertion process to see what might work for you.
These implants can be completed in one operation.
- A single implant is placed along the jawline.
- The top of the implant is level with the gum tissue.
- The gum tissue is then stitched, while leaving the head of the implant visible.
- Several months of healing are then allowed.
- When healing is complete, the abutment and crown can be attached to the implant.
These implants are particularly suitable if your jawbone is degraded, as they replicate the jawbone height up to the gum tissue level.
Endosteal (Endosseous) Implants
- Endosteal implants are a good replacement for bridges or dentures.
- The implant is placed into the jawbone.
- The gum tissue is then stitched over the implant and left to heal. This differs from the single stage, where the implant is left exposed during the healing process. If you undergo a two-stage implant, there will be no sign of the implant after your first surgery.
- Once healed, an X-ray will be taken to ascertain the placement of each implant.
- A second surgery (usually under local anaesthetic) exposes the implant and the abutment and crown can be attached.
Endosteal implants are by far the most common two-stage implant, though there is another, lesser-known type:
- Zygomatic implants are used when the patient has insufficient jawbone available to attach an implant to.
- Instead, implants are placed in the cheekbone rather than the upper jaw.
- This is a complex procedure, but can offer hope to those with depleted jawbones. Discuss the option with your orthodontist if you feel it may work for you.
The materials used are usually the same for both one and two-stage implants. There are two main materials used:
Metal has been the standard for dental implants for as long as implants have been possible; titanium is currently the most popular option. However, Titanium — like all metals — can suffer from corrosion. This is an issue you will want to keep in mind if you are under the age of 50 and considering implants.
- Pros of Titanium: long usage history, orthodontists are more familiar with the material; strong.
- Cons of Titanium: Needs to be inserted deeper into the jaw bone to hide the obvious metal color; may possibly corrode over time.
Zirconia is a relative newcomer to the dental implant world, but is rising in popularity due to its ease of use. Unlike Titanium, Zirconia — a ceramic — does not corrode, potentially giving Zirconia implants a longer lifespan. However, Zirconia has not been being used for long enough for its true durability to be understood. It could theoretically last for longer than standard titanium, but there’s no actual living proof of this yet.
- Pros of Zirconia: no metal used, implants do not have to be placed as deeply as there is no obvious “metal” color that needs to be buried. Will not corrode.
- Cons of Zirconia: a relative newcomer, so still somewhat experimental.
As you have seen, both of these procedures require significant healing times after the first surgery. In both cases, this will take between three and four months. While it may be tempting to think that single-stage implants are quicker, this is not actually the case. All types of implants require time to go through a process called osseointegration; when the implant fuses with the bone of your jaw, creating a seal between the jaw and the implant that is as strong as possible; this will give you a stronger bite and more confidence.
Ultimately, the decision on which type of dental implant you want to choose depends entirely on what you are comfortable with. Club Dental can help you decide which is right for you. When the decision is made, you can look forward to a life of perfect teeth that are indistinguishable from the real thing.
For more information on Dental Implants and/or Dental Care, Contact Club Dental in Utah.
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