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If you have missing or severely decayed teeth that require extraction, you may have considered getting dental implants. A dental implant procedure involves replacing a damaged or missing tooth with a new artificial device. These prosthetic teeth support the jawbone, restoring regular speaking, chewing, and eating functionality. 

Before undergoing the procedure, it is crucial to understand what dental implants are,  the types of implants available, and whether you’re a candidate for the procedure. 

 

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a restorative dentistry treatment that improves your oral health and overall well-being. 

A dental implant consists of a post, a connective abutment, and a restoration. The implant screw post and abutment are typically made from titanium or titanium alloy. Restorations may include a dental crown for a single tooth, a bridge to replace several consecutive teeth, or a denture plate to restore a full dental arch. 

During the procedure, the dental implant is inserted into the jawbone by your dentist. At Elevate Dental, we use computer-guided surgical techniques to reduce surgical times, minimise your recovery period, and reduce the risk of post-surgical complications such as infection.

The implant is installed and fuses with the underlying bone (a process known as osseointegration). Then the implant is fitted with a new custom-made restoration that blends seamlessly with the surrounding teeth. 

 

 

Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

At Elevate Dental, we use state-of-the-art digital scanning technologies, such as Cone Beam CT images and digital X-rays during each examination. This helps determine if you are a candidate for dental implants or need preparatory surgery like a bone graft beforehand.

Dental implants are unsuitable for children because their bones are still developing and growing and could cause the dental implant to shift or contribute to bite misalignment. Implants are used most often for adult patients experiencing tooth loss. A dental implant may not be a good restoration option for several other groups of people, including:

  • Regular smokers
  • Patients taking immunosuppressive drugs
  • Patients with diabetes
  • Patients who grind their teeth at night

These behaviours and conditions can make dental implants ineffective by causing damage or implant failure.

 

What Are Dental Implants? Two Main Types of Implant

There are two main types of dental implant available: subperiosteal and endosteal. The type your dentist prescribes depends on several factors. These include the tooth’s location, your jawbone density, and whether you have any underlying medical condition that prohibits you from receiving a bone graft.

 

Subperiosteal implants

Subperiosteal implants are dental implants placed under the gum with a metal framework that rests on top of the jawbone. The framework has metal extensions that run through the gingival tissue to provide anchorage from the new dental crown.

Subperiosteal implants are suitable for patients with an insufficient underlying bone to support standard implants. If you do not want to undergo additional procedures such as a bone graft, these implants are an excellent alternative. 

 

Endosteal implants

Endosteal implants are used in most dental implant procedures. These implants look like small screws and are inserted directly into the jawbone to fuse with the tissue and provide an anchor for the new tooth.

 

What Are Dental Implants? Dental Implants for Low Bone Density

Several implant options are available that accommodate people with specific issues, such as a low jawbone density or reduced jawbone thickness.

 

All-on-4 implants

The All-on-4 method replaces all the upper or lower teeth using just four implants. The first two implants are installed straight down as standard in the front of the mouth. However, the second row of implants is positioned at a 45° angle, facing toward the rear of the mouth. 

The 45° angle ensures the implants are installed into the anterior maxilla region, typically a denser area of the underlying bone. These four implants are then used as the foundation to support eight new custom dental crowns.

Because this method doesn’t require the same bone density as other implant techniques, The All-on-4 method is suitable for patients with lower bone quality in their jaw.

 

Zygomatic implants

treatment tooth implants richmond hawthornZygomatic implants may be more effective for patients with more severe bone loss issues. This dental implant is a longer device that anchors in a bone called the zygoma in the upper face. This method is only used when the entire set of upper teeth needs to be replaced and cannot be used to replace a single missing tooth.

Like the All-on-4 method, zygomatic implants involve only four implants to support a full set of upper teeth.

However, their longer screw sizes are more effective where bone density is an issue.

 

Mini implants

Mini dental implants are narrower than other types, with a diameter of less than 3 millimetres. Their small size makes them effective in areas with low amounts of bone available. It is also a less invasive dental implant technique as it doesn’t require deep installation.

A study in 2019 showed that mini implants have the same longevity as standard implants. They are ideal for replacing smaller teeth, and unlike other implants that accommodate low bone density, mini dental implants can replace a single tooth.

 

Schedule Your Appointment With Elevate Dental

If you are considering a dental implant procedure or another form of restorative dentistry, book a dental examination today to see if you are eligible for this treatment. 

 

 

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

 

 

References

Osseointegration and dental implants 
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24473360/

Longevity and marginal bone loss of narrow-diameter implants supporting single crowns: A systematic review 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6844460/

Dental Implants: Everything You Need To Know 
https://www.forbes.com/health/body/dental-implants-guide/

Are Dental Implants Permanent? 
https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/how-long-do-dental-implants-last#types-of-implants

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