Different Types of Dental Implants

Dental implants have rapidly gained popular use over the past few decades as a technologically improved alternative to bridges and dentures. The various types of dental implants allow dental professionals and patients alike a broad range of options and possibilities when it comes to replacing missing teeth.

Determining the Best Possible Dental Implant

Each type of dental implant is designed and manufactured to execute a particular function. The majority of these implants are made of titanium, as this material has been shown to aid in the fusion of metal and bone. This process is called osseointegration, literally meaning “combining with the bone.” Depending on a patient’s specific situation, the oral surgeon will decide which of the following types of dental implants is the best possible choice:

  • Root Form Implants
  • Plate Form Implants
  • Subperiosteal Implants

Root Form Implants

Of the three main types of dental implants, the root form implant most closely resembles the size and shape of the root found in a natural tooth. They are most often placed in wide areas of bone in order to offer stability and support for one or more teeth. First, after applying anesthetic to the area, the oral surgeon exposes the bone of the jaw into which the implant will be placed. The implant is then installed directly into a prepared area of bone. After this portion of the procedure, the gum area that has been opened may be stitched closed.

Over a period of approximately three to six months, the process of osseointegration ensues, allowing the living bone of the jaw to grow and harden around the implant. Often, the structural stability that is created here is even more secure than that of the natural tooth and root system that is replaced. When this healing process is complete, the root implant may need to be uncovered, if it was submerged, to allow attachment of an extension or abutment. The resulting unit is then prepared to support and hold the patient’s new tooth.

Plate Form Implants

This is a type of implant that is dated and not used anymore. This type of prosthesis is long and flat. The oral surgeon applies an anesthetic and carefully opens the gum tissue to expose the underlying jaw bone. This area of bone is then prepared to precisely accept the implant for a secure fit.

Subperiosteal Implants

This is also a dated technique that is not utilized anymore. These implants are manufactured to rest beneath the gums, but rest on top of the jaw bone rather than being incorporated into it. Subperiosteal implants are customized to suit the patient’s individual jaw and gum structure.

Face and Jaw Surgery Center serves all of North Dakota and North West Minnesota including Moorhead, MN and East Grand Forks, MN

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