Have you lost a tooth? Dental implants are the best alternative for you. Even if you have lost numerous teeth and are considering dentures or bridges, you’re surely free to choose what suits you the best.
However, from a return-on-investment perspective, implants are a one-time investment that lasts for decades. If you’re over 30 when you get dental implants, chances are that they’d stay for a lifetime. Although dentures and bridges appear to be less expensive for replacing numerous teeth, in the long run, dental implants are more cost-effective.
Now that you’ve made your mind to get implants, the following are the types that you should consider.
Types of dental implants
Based on the material that they are made of, implants can be classified as either titanium or zirconia.
- Titanium implants have been in the market for a long, long time; since ’60s to be more precise! They are made of titanium and hence, are stronger than your natural teeth. They come in two pieces - a root and a crown, either of which works as an abutment to connect.
- They are known to last for over 30 years with proper care. However, some patients are allergic to the metallic nature of the implants. What they are actually allergic to, is the nickel content in titanium. Furthermore, in some instances, they show a grey line along the teeth ridge.
- For those patients who opt for not having titanium implants, zirconia implants are the way to go! These implants are ceramic, which not only suits patients who are allergic to metallic implants, but also provides them with unmatched aesthetics. Since they are of ceramic nature, the white shade over it perfectly resembles a beautiful, white tooth.However, they are a little more expensive than titanium implants and are not as strong as titanium implants either.
Furthermore, they are comparatively new in the market, which is why it is unknown as to how long they actually last. They come in one single piece, which gives the surgeon less control over the adjustment of the implant.
Based on the surgical technique, dental implants could be classified as either endosteal or subperiosteal. In this case, it is most likely that your dentist would recommend which would suit your condition the best, rather than you getting to decide on the surgical type.
- Endosteal implants are for you if the bone underneath the tooth that you’ve lost is largely intact! If there is sufficient jawbone underneath to support the implant, the root of the implant is inserted straight into the bone. Since implants are biocompatible, they heal around the surrounding bone and tissues, which literally make them a part of your body!
- Subperiosteal implants, on the other hand, are for patients whose bone underneath the lost tooth/teeth has receded to an extent that cannot support an implant. In that case, a metal framework is inserted below the gums that work as the bone. The implant is placed and attached on top of this metal framework. On ShareCare, Dr. Benjamin Fliss explains subperiosteal implants as:“..dental implants made out of a metal framework. This metal frame is attached under your gum tissue but above your jawbone. Protruding from the metal frame of the subperiosteal implant are small metal posts. These are used as anchors for the replacement teeth that your oral surgeon will attach to the implant. This and other types of implants may be a good choice if you are missing more than one tooth in the same area of your mouth.”
- Another emerging and less common type of this category are all-on-4 dental implants. 4 implant roots have 4 crowns each on an average, which means that four implants would be enough to replace all the teeth either on your upper jaw or lower jaw. You also have the freedom to choose to have these implants.
Now that you are imparted with all the knowledge you needed to choose the type that suits you the best, which one would you go for? Remember that dental implants could stay in your mouth for a lifetime. Thus, no matter which type you choose to have, choose wisely!