Dental implants are an excellent form of tooth replacement. To be perfectly honest they are the next best thing to having natural teeth, and are often far better than bridges, dentures, or other options.
The advantages that dental implants have made them very popular nowadays. However if you’re thinking about whether or not you should get dental implants, you first need to understand the different types of implants that are available.
The most common type of implants are endosteal implants. In fact when people refer to dental implants nowadays, more often than not they are actually referring to endosteal implants.
All endosteal implants consists of posts that are embedded into the jawbone to act as placeholders. The false teeth are then fitted onto the posts to complete the implant.
Although this type of implant is the safest and has the highest long-term success rate, it does require that the jawbone is healthy. If it is not healthy, other treatments such as bone augmentation, sinus lift, or ridge expansion may need to be used to allow the jawbone to support the implant.
Because the posts are embedded directly into the jawbone, it will require a long time before it is fully healed. The false teeth can only be fitted after the posts are fused with the jawbone.
The next most common type of implants are subperiosteal implants. Instead of being embedded into the jawbone, subperiosteal implants consist of a metal frame that is placed beneath the gum with a post attached to it.
In short this type of implant will lie above the jawbone, but under the gum itself. After the gum has healed, it will keep the frame in place and the false teeth can be fitted on the post.
At one point subperiosteal implants were regarded as a good alternative to endosteal implants for patients who did not have a healthy jawbone. However the long-term success rate of this type of implant is much lower, which is why nowadays they are not that widely-used.
Because the jawbone won’t be affected, the surgery itself is a lot less intensive – and on average it requires less healing time.
The one type of implant that is extremely rare nowadays would have to be zygomatic implants. Unlike all other types of implants, zygomatic implants are placed in the cheekbone instead of the jawbone.
As much as that may sound like a good idea for patients without enough healthy jawbone, it isn’t that straightforward. The procedure itself is very complicated, and in the long term there are many issues related to zygomatic implants that can cause concern.
If you feel that you’re interested in this type of implant, you should definitely talk to an orthodontist about it and thoroughly examine its pros and cons. The majority are unlikely to recommend it in the first place.
Overall it is safe to say that endosteal implants are the ‘best’ option due to the fact that they are the safest and most effective in the long term. That being said knowing the other types of implants should help you to understand the alternatives that are out there and inquire about them if you get dental implants in Harley Street London or elsewhere.
At the end of the day you should definitely discuss all your options with your orthodontist before you proceed any further. The orthodontist will be able to provide you with advice based on the condition of your teeth, gums, and jawbone – which should lead to the best results when you get dental implants.