When we have them all, we don’t think about them that much. But once you lose a tooth you realize how important they actually are. A missing tooth doesn’t just affect your self-confidence, it can also make essential, everyday activities like talking and eating more difficult. That is why we have dental implants.
Dental implants are not a modern invention. As long ago as 2000 BC, the ancient Chinese were using bamboo pegs to replace missing teeth. And archeologists have unearthed many more examples of implants from around the world. These include implants using teeth from other humans or animals as well as implants made from a variety of materials including iron, copper, semi-precious and precious stones and even seashells.
Nowadays, of course, the technology and materials are far more advanced. Dental implants are now used throughout the world, providing a solution for millions of people who have problems with their teeth. Thanks to the modern methods and materials used in constructing and fitting implants, they now not only feel but also look completely natural and are indistinguishable from your real teeth.
What are Dental Implants and their types?
An implant is basically a metal (usually titanium) post that is surgically placed in the jaw. Once the jaw has healed and the post is securely in position, the dentist will bond a false tooth to it. Implants can be used to replace individual teeth and also with crowns, bridges and other dentistry procedures for replacing missing or damaged teeth.
The ADA (American Dental Association) considers two types of dental implant procedures to be safe. These are endosteal implants and subperiosteal dental implants.
What is an Endosteal Implant?
Endosteal literally means “located in bone and cartilage” according to the Mirriam Webster Dictionary definition. And that is what these implants are. A metal rod is placed in the bone at the site of the missing tooth. Once this procedure has been performed, the patient will need approximately six weeks to recover, allowing the jaw to seal in the implant.
Once this has happened, the dentist places a crown over the tooth and the patient is good to go. Crowns are usually made of porcelain colored to resemble the natural teeth of the patient, but some people opt for a more flamboyant look and choose materials such as gold.
What is a Subperiosteal Dental Implant?
We won’t bother with the literal definition of subperiosteal as it is quite long and complicated. But these are a type of implant that is used for people who, for one reason or another, don’t have enough jawbone to accommodate an endosteal implant. Instead of drilling a post into the bone under the gum, a metal frame is placed on the bone, beneath the gum tissue. Once the wounds heal and the tissue grows back, it holds the frame in place and the dentist can attach the crown. This type of implant can provide an alternative to bone-graft surgery.
These are the two different types of teeth implants available. Each has its own specific use, according to the requirements of the patient so if you need an implant, book an appointment today and we will be happy to assess your needs and talk you through what to expect before, during and after the procedure. Thank you for your time and we wish you a pleasant day!