Dental implants can be an excellent alternative to partials and dentures, and they can often provide higher quality oral health. However, there are various forms of implant dentistry to explore before making a decision.
Root Form Implants
The most common type of implants, these replace a tooth’s missing root with a titanium screw-like post that is inserted into the jawbone. An abutment is then placed on top of the post for structure and support. Lastly, the implant is covered by a crown to mimic the look of the other teeth. These types of implants are best for a jawbone that is wide and deep, due to the implant needing plenty of bone to attach to when it is inserted. The healing time can range from three to six months.
Plate Form Implants
This type of implant dentistry is often used for those that have a narrow jaw or have experienced bone deterioration. This is because the implants are laid on top of the jawbone as opposed to being inserted. An incision is made in the gums, and the small, flat implant is then placed in between the gums and the jawbone. After the tissue has almost completely healed around the implant, which takes an average of three to six months, the abutment and crown are added.
A subperiosteal implant is used for patients whose jaw is too thin or deteriorated to accept root form or plate form implants. This implant dentistry creates an artificial metal jawbone that is placed over the existing bone for more support and surface area. This is typically done to cover a large portion of the jawbone and to replace multiple teeth. After the implant has been placed under the gums and the gums have healed, a partial or bridge is then attached to small posts that protrude from the implant. Healing time varies, depending on the size of the implant.