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What Are the 3 Types of Dental Implants?

matching shades of teeth for dental implants

Dental implants are an excellent treatment option for a wide range of patients. Whether you’re missing one, multiple, or all of your teeth, dental implants are going to be one of the potential options you discuss with your dentist. 

There are three main types of dental implants, each of which provides a treatment option in different situations:

Endosteal Dental Implants

Endosteal implants are what most people think of when they hear “dental implants.” They’re the most widely used type of implant and provide a reliable treatment option for patients who have the strong, healthy jawbone necessary to support the implants.

This type of dental implant uses screw-like posts that are firmly embedded within the jawbone. The posts are generally made of titanium, a strong and biocompatible material. These posts are inserted through implant surgery, after which the patient must heal over the course of several weeks.

Once healed, another piece called the abutment is attached to the top of the post. The abutment then serves as the attachment point for a crown, bridge, or full arch replacement. This type of dental implant provides a strong foundation for the replacement tooth or teeth, allowing for natural eating and speaking abilities.

Endosteal dental implants also provide exceptional long-term oral health outcomes. They are highly effective in preventing jawbone deterioration and tooth displacement that can result from missing teeth.

Subperiosteal Dental Implants

Unlike endosteal dental implants, subperiosteal dental implants do not embed posts within the jawbone. Endosteal dental implants require a certain thickness of strong, healthy bone to support them, while subperiosteal implants provide an alternative option that can be suitable for individuals who don’t meet those requirements.

Instead, subperiosteal dental implants rely on a metal framework that sits on top of the jawbone, below the gum line. The framework sits securely around the jawbone, and the gums heal around it to hold it in place, providing a sturdy option for dental implants Atlanta patients can rely on.

The framework has posts that protrude above the gum line, to which crowns, bridges, or other tooth replacement options are attached. Subperiosteal dental implants still require significant surgery, although they don’t require embedding posts into the jawbone.

In most cases, endosteal dental implants are recommended over subperiosteal dental implants. The only cases where subperiosteal dental implants are chosen are generally in patients who are unable to have endosteal dental implants due to issues with their jawbone.

Zygomatic Dental Implants

Zygomatic dental implants are another potential option that is generally only chosen when other dental implant options aren’t viable. They are a relatively new implant option that anchors into the cheekbone instead of the jawbone. The cheekbone is also called the zygoma bone, which is where this option gets its name.

Because they rely on the cheekbone as a foundation, this option only provides the dental implants Atlanta patients need for replacing upper teeth. The procedure involves four anchor points which are used to support a full arch replacement for the upper teeth.

The procedure is sometimes used to avoid supplemental procedures associated with conventional endosteal dental implants. When patients have insufficient bone mass, various surgeries can be used to augment the area in preparation for implants. Zygomatic dental implants can be an option to avoid those additional surgeries.

Other Dental Implant Considerations

What other factors are there to consider when determining the dental implants Atlanta patients should choose? Of course, this is something that any patient will have to discuss with their dentist. There are many factors that go into planning dental implant treatment, and every patient is unique.

For patients who don’t have the required bone mass for endosteal dental implants, there are a variety of procedures that can resolve that issue. 

Several different types of bone grafts can take bone from another area and transplant it where it’s needed from the dental implant. This process takes additional time for the bone to fully heal and integrate.

The sinuses above the upper row of teeth can sometimes cause the bone in that area to be too thin. If this is the case, a sinus lift is a type of bone graft that raises the floor of the sinus to provide greater thickness. 

Ridge expansions and other bone graft options can augment bone in other areas to provide a solid foundation for dental implants.

The Dental Implants Atlanta Patients Need

If you are missing one or more teeth, reach out to Dr. Brett Langston at Dental Implant and Aesthetic Specialists of Atlanta to learn more about what we can do for your smile. We provide a wide range of restorative treatment options, including dental implants. Contact our office today to book your appointment.