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Types of Dental Implant
If you have missing teeth, then you are probably feeling the effects of their absence. Whether you have lost just one tooth or several, the impact on your confidence can be immense. You may feel embarrassed, unattractive and even shamed and as a result, you may try to hide your smile, avoid eating in public and stop doing anything that draws attention to your mouth.
The physical impact of missing teeth can also be difficult to live with. Depending on which teeth you have lost, you may struggle to bite and chew your food, and your speech may also be affected. This is because our tongue pushes against our teeth to help us form some sounds. If these teeth are missing, our pronunciation may be compromised.
The good news is that it is no longer necessary to suffer from the effects of tooth loss. Dental implants are now one of the most popular and successful solutions used to replace missing teeth and restore the function and appearance of our smiles.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a modern and innovative way of replacing single or multiple teeth that may have been extracted or fallen out as a result of trauma or severe decay. They consist of a porcelain prosthetic tooth which is attached to a titanium post. This post is the key to the new design. This is because the posts are inserted into the jaw where they fuse to the bone to create the greatest stability of any dental prosthetic.
There are many advantages to this new design. In addition to increased stability, dental implants are also:
- Extremely durable
- Suitable for a large number of patients
- No compromises on what you can eat or do
Dental implants are also extremely versatile, and it may surprise you to know that there are several different types available.
Endosteal implants are the variety most commonly given to patients. The posts that are used are titanium, are shaped like screws and have are inserted into the jaw bone at pre-determined locations. Once in place, the posts are left to fuse to the bone. This process is called osseointegration and is what makes the final implant so secure. After healing has occurred, prosthetic teeth that closely resemble the size, shape and color of your natural teeth are securely attached to the implant post.
Subperiosteal implants are the primary alternative to endosteal varieties. They are most commonly recommended for patients who are found to have insufficient health or density jaw bone, which means that endosteal implants are likely to fail.
Unlike endosteal implants, which are inserted into the bone, the design of subperiosteal implants involves the use of a metal frame that is fitted under the gum, with the relevant number of implant posts attached to it. The gum will then heal around the frame, securing it firmly in place. The prosthetic teeth can then be attached as normal.
The rarest form of dental implants, zygomatic implants are also used when a patient does not have sufficient bone in the jaw to make regular implants a success. However, instead of the metal frame used in subperiosteal implants, the cheekbone is instead used as a base for the implant posts.
If you have multiple missing teeth, you might ordinarily consider conventional dentures. However, it is now possible to have dentures that are connected to implant posts. This gives you all of the benefits of implants in a full or partial denture.
If you are interested in finding out more about the benefits of dental implants, or if you would like to arrange a consultation to discuss your candidacy, contact us and our friendly and experienced team would be delighted to assist you.