When you see your dentist about a possible dental implant, you may think there’s only one option. Believe it or not, there is a vast range of dental implants to suit various patients. Just like other dental procedures, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.
However, before you see your dentist, it’s helpful to understand what’s available to you. You can then be more aware of why a dentist made the choice they did, and what comes next. Read on to discover what main dental implants are available and which one might be right for you.
Endosteal Dental Implants
Endosteal dental implants are the most commonly used by dentists around the globe. They are made from titanium and are shaped like a screw. Your dentist inserts these into the jawbone below the gumline, then attaches a natural-looking tooth on top.
Subperiosteal Dental Implants
You may not see the need for another type of implant, considering endosteal implants work so well. However, they won’t work for everyone. They sit under the gum like an endosteal implant but can be above or on the jawbone.
Dentists may make the call to use a subperiosteal implant when there is not enough healthy jawbone to use their first choice. Dentists would often recommend bone augmentation surgery or something similar to rebuild the jawbone so that they can improve their chances of using endosteal, but it’s up to the patient. If the patient does not want to go through with the procedure, a subperiosteal implant is the next best thing.
Going Through with Bone Restoration
Because an endosteal implant is the preferred option by many dentists, patients may like to look into their options regarding bone restoration. There are many ways in which a dentist can restore your jawline and create the perfect foundation for traditional dental implants.
The first option is bone augmentation. Dentists can restore or even regenerate your bone to give you a fighting chance of a natural jawline. Once the bone restoration process is complete, you may be able to have a traditional dental implant.
If natural bone has deteriorated around the back of your mouth due to missing upper back teeth, then a sinus augmentation could be on the cards. Dentists may refer to this as a sinus elevation or lift. They add bone below your sinus so that they can offer you dental implants.
Sometimes, bone loss isn’t the problem, but your jaw isn’t wide enough for implants. If that’s the case, your dentist can graft bone along a ridge at the top of your jaw to provide enough room for a dental implant.
The only way to know which dental implant or procedure is going to suit your needs is by making an appointment. Your dentist can examine your mouth, x-ray the area, and decide what the next step is for you. Rest assured that whatever it is, they will keep you well informed from start to finish.