Dental implants are artificial tooth roots similar in shape to screws that are placed on the jaw bone in the oral cavity. They bond with natural bone and become a sturdy base for supporting one or more artificial teeth, called crowns.
Types of implants and techniques- 2 types
Endosteal: These dental implants are placed in the jawbone. Typically made of titanium and shaped like small screws, they are the most commonly used type of implant.
- Subperiosteal: These dental implants are placed under the gum but on, or above, the jawbone. This type of implant may be used in patients who do not have enough healthy natural jawbone.
In inadequate bone ;techniques used to rebuild bone and restore natural jawline include:
- Bone augmentation. This involves restoring or regenerating bone in a jaw when it is not able to support implants otherwise.
- Sinus lift. involves adding bone below the sinus in cases where natural bone has deteriorated due to missing upper back teeth.
- Ridge expansion. If jaw isn’t wide enough to support dental implants, bone graft material can be added to a small ridge, or space, created along the top of the jaw.
3D Imaging and Treatment Planning
State-of-the-art, highly precise 3D digital imaging and implant surgical planning software have made implant procedures faster and highly predictable. Your dentist can use these tools to analyze the anatomy of your jaw and determine the best sites for implant placement before surgery. This saves time and money, and shortens recovery time.
Alternative Dental Implant Techniques
Depending on the health of jawbone and specific needs, an implantologist suggests alternative treatment options in addition to the traditional multi-step dental implant procedure. Options may include:
- Immediate Load Dental Implants. Also called same day implants or Teeth in a Day®, immediate load dental implants allow placement of a temporary tooth during the same appointment as your dental implant placement. This may be a good option if you have enough natural bone and an implant secure enough to support immediate placement and pressure on the new temporary tooth.
- Mini dental implants (MDIs). Also called small or narrow diameter implants, these toothpick-sized implants are narrower than most commonly used dental implants. They are placed through less-invasive techniques and are used primarily to stabilize a lower denture.
- All-on-4®. All-on-4 is an alternative to placing a top or bottom set of replacement teeth, called a full arch. Four dental implants are placed in available bone, avoiding the need for bone grafting. Special abutments are used so that a temporary set of replacement teeth can be placed the same day. You follow a modified diet while the gum tissues heal and the implants bond with your natural bone. After about six months, the permanent replacement teeth will be placed and you can resume a regular diet.