The Three Most Common Types Of Dental Implants

Tooth loss is a serious dental issue. It can signal the onset of a degenerative disease, a serious oral infection, or a dietary issue. It can also occur due to oral trauma, such as that experienced by many athletes when they play contact sports like hockey. The loss of a tooth should be addressed as quickly as possible. After the immediate issue that caused the tooth loss to occur is taken care of, it will be important to decide the next step for replacing the missing tooth. There are several methods for dealing with tooth loss, but one of the best permanent solutions is the procedure known as the dental implant.

What is a Dental Implant?

The dental implant procedure comes in several forms. The three most common forms are the endosteal, subperiosteal, and transosteal implant methods. Each of these implant types has their own primary usage.

Endosteal Implants - The endosteal method utilizes a tooth prosthetic that is implanted directly into the jawbone. It looks like a tooth sitting on top of a screw. It is the most common method used due to the similarities between the artificial tooth and a natural tooth. This method is mostly used to either provide anchor points for dental bridges or to replace a single lost tooth.

Subperiosteal Implants - The subperiosteal method utilizes a prosthetic that is designed to sit on top of the jawbone, but beneath the gums. This implant looks like a tooth sitting on a metal framework. The metal frame will fit snugly atop the jawbone and will fuse to it over time. Typically, this implant is only used if the endosteal implant will not work properly for the patient. For instance, your jawbone might not be wide enough for an endosteal implant to be planted.

Transosteal Implants - The transosteal method utilizes a prosthetic shaped like a rod with a tooth sitting on top. This implant is placed completely through the jawbone. It is primarily used as support posts for dental bridges. This method provides you with the possibility of having semi-permanent dental bridges installed. These anchored dental bridges are superior to simple dentures due to the capacity to negate most, if not all, of the slippage issue. Slippage references the possibility of dentures sliding around inside the mouth. This is a common issue when people first have dentures fitted. 

Are Dental Implants the Right Choice?

The decision to have an implant installed will be determined by your fitness as a candidate, and the extent of your tooth loss. If you are in reasonably good health, and have only a single missing tooth, a dental implant will often be the best option. More specifically, the endosteal implant is usually your best option. The endosteal implant costs between $1500 and $10000 and has a 95% success rating after five years. Further, it can last for decades without the need for repairs or replacement. 

However, if you are in poor health or if the member of your household with a missing tooth is a child, it would be best to seek other alternatives. You will need to consult with your family dentist (such as West Lakes Family Dentistry) to determine whether or not your health will be an issue. Typical health related issues that can be problematic for dental implant patients include uncontrolled diabetes, degenerative disease of the jawbone, and cancer patients. People who smoke or who drink alcohol heavily are also poor candidates, though it may still be possible to receive an implant.