A dental implant is a great replacement for a tooth lost to trauma or decay. An artificial dental crown is attached to a metal screw or plate that fits into or onto the jawbone for support. The jawbone positioning makes dental implants one of the more stable dental replacement options and tends to feel the most natural while chewing.
There are a couple of different types of dental implants and the right match for you will depend on your overall oral health and medical needs. Always discuss your options thoroughly with the dentist to find out which is the best dental implant for your specific situation.
Here are two of the most common implant types and the pros and cons of each type.
An endosseous implant, also called an endosteal implant, is the standard type of dental implant that most patients receive. The procedure involves drilling a hole into the jawbone into which a metal screw is fitted. A healing period follows to allow your jawbone to fuse around the screw to hold the screw in place.
Once the bone and screw have fused, a metal post is attached to the top of the screw. A shorter healing period follows to allow your gums to heal around the base of that post. Finally, the dentist can snap the artificial tooth crown onto the top of the post.
An endosseous implant is the most stable of the implant options due to the screw in the bone. But those with weakened or narrow jawbone cannot receive this type of implant unless you undergo a bone graft first. The graft is performed using bone from another area of your jaw and lengthens your overall implant healing time.
Do you have a weak or narrow section of bone but don't want to undergo a graft? A subperiosteal implant might provide the answer. The subperiosteal implant still consists of an artificial crown on a post, but the base is a bit different.
Instead of snapping onto a metal screw in the jawbone, a subperiosteal crown sits atop a metal frame. This frame sits on the jawbone and is held in place by the covering gum tissue. So you can still have the look of an implant without the bone graft and extended healing times of a traditional implant.
The potential downside of a subperiosteal implant is that the lack of jawbone anchoring means the implant isn't quite as stable as the traditional kind. This might not bother you and could feel natural while chewing, or you could be more aware that it's a false tooth.
For help deciding which type of implant is best for you, contact a company like Southgate Dental Clinic.