Types of Dental Implants

There are 3 types of dental implants – yet all of them are made from titanium.

The titanium of dental implants is not only very successful at osseointegration (fusing with living bone), but also is a strong, corrosion-resistant metal with the highest strength-to-weight ratio.  Additional benefits of titanium include:

  • Strength
  • Light in weight
  • Non-magnetic
  • Poor conductor of heat and electricity
  • Imparts a brilliant white color due to its chemically inert property.

The three dental implants allow for versatility in accommodating the size and shape of the jawbone itself.

Plate Form Implant

This type of implant is inserted the jawbone when it is too narrow for a regular bone graft. It is quite effective in this situation since the implant itself is flat and long.  Anesthesia is administered and once it starts working, the dental implant specialist exposes the operative site of the jawbone and prepares the area for the implant.  Incisions and bone preparation is dependent on how many implants are necessary.  Once the implant is set into the proper position, the gums are sutured closed.

From this point, observation is 3-6 months for healing prior to restoration.

Root Form Implant

Shaped like the root of a tooth, this screw type is the most commonly used dental implant.  It is indicated when there is sufficient depth and width of the jawbone.

Anesthesia is administered and once deemed effective, the dental implant specialist exposes the jawbone area and prepares the bone.   The extent of bone preparation and incisions are dependent on the number of implants to be inserted.  The implant is inserted and the gums are sutured closed. Healing takes 3-6 months.

Subperiosteal Implant

If there is not enough jawbone measurements for the two mentioned implants, there is nothing to worry about.  This option takes this into consideration.

Subperiosteal implants are customized to sit on top of the jawbone and under the gums.  Customization takes one of two methods to tailor the plate specifically to each individual.

One technique is to take a CAT scan of the jawbone.  Using the CAT scan measurements, the jawbone is computer modeled.  Once the dental laboratory makes this, the jawbone is exposed after anesthetics are given and the implant is placed.  Gums are sutured closed and replacement teeth are then inserted.

An alternate method involves jawbone exposure with anesthesia so that an impression can be taken. A dental laboratory uses this mold to create the proper implant.  Once made, the jawbone is exposed once again and the implant is placed inside.  Gums are closed with sutures and replacement teeth inserted.

Recognizing which of these implants to use is common knowledge to the properly trained dental implant specialist so there is no need for worry!