Did you know that there is more than one type
of oral implant?
When you decide to have oral implants fitted
to bridge a gap or get more functionality from your teeth, you will probably be
thinking more about how your new teeth or prosthesis will look, as opposed to
the different implants used by your dentist.
However, the type of implant your dentist
chooses to use to secure your prosthesis is based on multiple factors, some of
which may impact on the longevity of your new teeth!
But what are these factors and why are there
different types of implant?
Read on to find out!
The most commonly used implant in dentistry for
those who have enough jawbone and good oral health, endosteal implants are
drilled directly into the jawbone and the prosthesis is attached to the top.
Before placing your dental implants in Harley Street, your dentist
will need to determine that your jawbone is wide enough, deep enough and strong
enough to support this implant. Although it appears very small, it is actually
fairly large and requires a sturdy foundation to be attached to, without
causing fractures or breaks in the jawbone.
Physically, this implant resembles a small screw and is usually made from titanium. If maintained with good oral hygiene and lifestyle choices, this implant can last and be secure for up to 40 years.
When you want oral implants fitted but your
dentist is concerned about how much weight your jawbone can manage, they may
suggest subperiosteal implants.
Made from a metal framework, this implant is
placed below the gumline but above the jaw and is custom fitted for a snug fit.
Attached to the metal framework are ‘posts,’ which are the actual dental
implants your prosthetic teeth will be attached to.
The framework acts as an anchor for your new
teeth and provides your jawbone with support.
This implant method requires your dentist to
expose your jawbone fully and as a consequence, it has a longer healing time.
This method is rarely used anymore in dentistry
as bone grafting has been found to be a less invasive method.
Only suitable for attaching prosthetic teeth
or dentures attached to the upper jaw, zygomatic implants have been a game changer
for many people.
Physically around three times longer than
endosteal implants, they offer a simple solution to overcoming age or disease
related bone loss of the upper jaw, without being overly heavy or compromising
the quality of prosthetic teeth that are fitted.
These implants are placed through the upper
jawbone and anchored into the zygoma or cheekbone, taking the pressure away
from the upper jaw.
Although this implant has a slightly longer
healing time than the endosteal and requires more X-rays to confirm that it is
working, it also has a high success rate of around 98%. If maintained through
high quality dental hygiene and good lifestyle choices, zygomatic implants have
been found to last for up to 20 years.