Dental Implants: Procedure Types and Materials

Dec 04, 2023

Understanding Dental Implant Types

Dental implants are a novel option for those who are missing one or more teeth. They are basically little pegs that attach to the jawbone and serve as a basis for replacement teeth. These implants, which are often comprised of titanium and zirconium, provide a strong and long-lasting alternative for tooth replacement.

Single vs. Multiple Tooth Replacement

Depending on the number of teeth you’re missing, there are different implant options available:

Single-tooth implant: Ideal for replacing just one missing tooth. The procedure involves placing one implant and then attaching a single crown.

Multiple-tooth implant: For those missing several teeth, this option involves placing multiple implants that support custom-made replacement teeth.

Full-mouth implant: If you’re missing all your teeth, this comprehensive solution involves a full set of implants to restore your smile.

Primary Dental Implant Types

In Ellicott City, dental implants are often either endosteal or subperiosteal. The distinction lies in their placement in relation to the jawbone.

Endosteal implants: The most common type, these are shaped like screws, cylinders, or blades and are inserted directly into the jawbone. They can support one or multiple prosthetic teeth. They’re often recommended for those who previously had dentures or bridges.

Subperiosteal implants: Positioned on or just above the jawbone, these implants feature a metal post that protrudes through the gum to keep them in place. They’re suitable for those who can’t wear traditional dentures, lack sufficient jawbone for endosteal implants, or wish to avoid bone augmentation.

Materials Used in Dental Implants

Titanium:  Titanium is a prevalent material for dental implants. Its compatibility with bone allows for seamless integration, promoting proper bone growth around the implant. While pure titanium is used, many implants consist of titanium alloys, incorporating some amounts of other metals. Titanium’s non-toxicity, durability, and lightweight nature make it a preferred choice, often serving as a tooth’s replacement root for over three decades. Its high success rate in both medical and dental applications is noteworthy.

Zirconium: Zirconium has emerged as a promising alternative to titanium. Introduced in the 1990s and gaining traction with the release of the first all-in-one Zirconia dental crown in 2003, it combines the strength of metal with the aesthetics of porcelain. Unlike the two-piece titanium and porcelain combination, Zirconia implants are typically one-piece. While their use is on the rise, they’re relatively new, with fewer long-term success stories. Still, they represent an exciting frontier in dental implant materials.

Porcelain: Dental implants are composed of various components, with the prosthetic tooth often being made of porcelain. This material is favored for its natural appearance and functionality, closely resembling real teeth. Porcelain implants are precisely manufactured to match the color, shape, and size of a patient’s natural teeth, making them practically indistinguishable from original teeth.

Ceramics: Ceramics offer another option, especially for those seeking impeccable esthetics without any color variation. However, they’re recommended selectively and require careful placement.

Supporting Procedures for Implants

The type of implant suitable for you depends on the health of your jawbone, the number of missing teeth, and other specific requirements. Sometimes, additional procedures might be necessary to ensure the success of the implant:

Bone augmentation: Enhances the jawbone when there’s not enough natural bone to support implants. This might involve using bone additives and growth factors.

Sinus lift: Addresses challenges with placing implants in the upper back jaw due to insufficient bone or proximity to the sinus. This procedure elevates the sinus floor to create space for additional bone.

Ridge expansion or modification: If the jaw is too narrow for implants, bone graft material can be added to a small ridge on the jaw’s top. For jaw deformities, a ridge modification might be suggested to enhance the jaw’s appearance and implant success chances.

Diverse Implant Options

There’s a variety of dental implants near you to cater to individual needs:

Mini dental implants (MDIs): These are slender implants, about the size of a toothpick. They’re less invasive and might be recommended for those with significant bone loss or unstable dentures.

Immediate-load dental implants: Also known as same-day implants, these allow for the placement of temporary teeth during the same appointment as the implant. They’re suitable for those with ample healthy bone.

All-on-4: For those needing a full set of top or bottom replacement teeth, this method uses four implants to support temporary replacement teeth. After about six months of healing, permanent teeth are placed, restoring the patient’s regular diet.

In conclusion, dental implants offer a versatile solution for various tooth replacement needs. Whether you’re missing a single tooth or require a complete set, at Excel Dental Care, our dentist in Ellicott City can guide you through the options and help determine the best fit for your situation. With the right choice, you can regain your confident smile and enjoy the benefits of durable, natural-looking teeth.

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