Dental implants are one of the many dental innovations available in the market, used to replace ones missing teeth. They are made from biocompatible materials and are surgically affixed to ones jaw bone. Dental implants serve as tooth roots to support and stabilize a reconstruction. Oftentimes they are used to anchor dental crowns, bridges and even dentures in place.
There different types of dental implants based on how they are attached to ones jawbone, the surgical procedure they were placed and the implant material.
Based on their jaw bone attachment:
- Endosteal implants – They are surgically implanted within the patient’s jaw bone. They are usually used for two-stage surgery. Their shape varies from small screws, cylinders, and blades.
- Subperiosteal implants – They are made from metal frames that are surgically implanted below the gums or above the jaw bone. They are the preferred choice of implant for patients with shallow jaw bone.
Based on the surgical procedure they were placed:
- Single-stage surgery – This procedure uses a longer one-piece implant that extends through the gums once it is affixed to the jaw bone. The implant abutment and crown is placed after the healing period without an added surgery to expose the implant.
- Two-stage surgery – On the first procedure, the implant is placed within the jaw bone and then the gum tissue is closed. After the healing period, a second surgery is performed to expose the implant and attach the abutment and restoration in place.
Based on the implant material:
- Metallic implants – Titanium is commonly used. Other metals include: stainless steel, cobalt chromium molybdenum alloy and vitallium.
- Ceramic implants
- Polymeric implants
- Carbon implants