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Dental Implants: 3 Different Types & When Each Is The Most Appropriate

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There are essentially three varieties of dental implants. Your dentist will generally choose which implant method is most appropriate for your particular needs, but many times your dentist will give you the option of choosing. This article discusses the three most common kinds of dental implants to give you a better understanding of your options, or simply to help you get a better idea of what exactly it is your dentist has in store for you.  

Endosteal Implants 

The most common type of dental implant is the endosteal implant. An endosteal implant involves implanting the prosthetic tooth or teeth directly onto the patients jawbone. Endosteal implants are accomplished through a series of visits to the dentist. The first visit is a procedure where your dentist attaches a 'base' directly onto your jawbone. This is essentially laying the foundation for the actual tooth or teeth to come.

The surrounding gum tissue will require a few weeks to fully heal,  but once it does you will need to return to the dentist. At this point, your dentist will perform another minor surgery to connect a small post to the initial base that was mounted to your jawbone during the first visit.

Your gums will again need time to heal, but once they do you will be ready for your new teeth. Your prosthetic teeth mount directly onto the post which provides a solid foundation from which they can function. 

Subperiosteal Implants 

The second most common type of dental implant is the subperiosteal variety. A subperiosteal implant is similar to an endosteal implant in that both utilize small posts to which artificial teeth are attached. However, whereas endosteal implants use a kind of base, subperiosteal implants use more of a frame-like attachment that sits on top of the jawbone, rather than being fixed to the bone with screws. 

Both procedures require multiple visits, but the primary difference between endosteal and subperiosteal implants is the health and structure of the patient's jawbone. Endosteal implants are generally reserved for younger patients with healthy bone structures, while subperiosteal implants are better for patients whose bones any have atrophied in recent years. 

Transosteal Implants

Finally, the least commonly utilized implant is the transosteal implant. Transosteal implants are the most invasive of the three different types and involve drilling upward through the bottom of the jaw. Screws protrude through the jawbone to which artificial teeth are mounted, but the need to drill from the outside-in can leave some patients uncomfortable with the potential scarring on the underside of the chin, though it is generally minimal. This method is exclusively reserved for those patients with extremely limited bone structure.

Overall, it is important to understand what exactly various procedures entail, whether you have the option of choosing your dental implant variety or simply to remain informed when discussing your options with your dentist. To learn more, contact a company like Simanek Milan DDS & Associates for help.