Curious to have oral implants fitted but have some questions about the different types available?
In this article, you will be introduced to oral implants and the different types that you may encounter at dental surgeries will be explored.
What are oral implants?
But before that, what exactly are dental implants Maidstone?
The underlying principle revolves around replacing a lost tooth or teeth by affixing a titanium rod or screw into the jaw which is the implant itself. Made from titanium, the implant fuses to the surrounding bone over 3 – 9 months and then the prosthetic tooth or teeth are placed on top of it.
This allows you to bite into food, chew it and of course, smile with a gap-free grin. Great!
But what about the different types of implants that are currently used in dental practices?
An endosteal implant is the most commonly used implant; it is suitable for patients who have a healthy, thick jawbone that can support the implant.
Endosteal implants have a diameter of between 3.5 – 4.2 mm and once fitted, will take between 3 – 6 months on average to fuse. Typically, endosteal implants can support anything from a single crown to a full set of dentures, but you may need multiple implants to be fitted. It can take 2 hours to fit a single implant and so, you may require multiple dental appointments to complete the procedure. With correct aftercare, endosteal implants can last for over 15 years.
A subperiosteal implant is not an implant in the traditional sense.
Rather, it is a framework that is fitted underneath the gums and on top of the jaw that then allows prosthetic teeth to be attached.
To fit this type of implant, your dentist will need to carefully make some incisions into your gum line and then place it so it fits tightly to your jaw. After being sewn into place, your gums will hold it still; 2 or more rods will protrude through the gums, acting as the anchor point for the prosthetics to be attached. These oral implants have a lifespan of around 15 – 20 years, provided that there is correct hygiene and aftercare.
Zygomatic implants are only used if you require prosthetic teeth to be attached to the upper jaw.
Around 3 times longer than an endosteal implant and a fair bit wider, zygomatic implants are attached to the zygoma or cheekbone and can support a single prosthetic tooth or an entire denture.
Due to the fitting time required, many dentists will only opt for zygomatic implants if the patient requires extensive prosthetics to be fitted. Once in place, zygomatic implants can last up to and over 15 years with correct care.
Mini or micro
As the name suggests, mini implants are around 1.8 – 3.3mm in width and are used in patients who have thinning or damaged jawbone.
As they are smaller, they are not often used to support larger loads of prosthetics and are typically used to support single crowns. However, they are hardy and with correct aftercare can easily last for up to 10 years.