If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants are an excellent, permanent solution for your smile. They can restore your ability to eat, speak and help you feel confident again.
But as you think about what to expect before getting dental implants, you'll probably also wonder if there are different types of dental implants and - if so - which one is right for you.
The answer to that is — yes, whether you are just missing one tooth, a few teeth or a full mouth of teeth, there are different types of dental implants available to help your specific situation.
There are also different implant materials on the market, so if you have sensitivities to metal, you can still get dental implants. Let’s explore the different types of implant options available for patients.
Unlike dentures and bridges, dental implants are the only form of tooth replacement that replicate a natural tooth root. This gives them unmatched stability and security - they are just as strong, if not stronger than your natural teeth.
Additionally, dental implants are incredibly durable and long-lasting. Many patients never have to replace them within their lifetimes. While dentures can last for roughly 5 years, bridges last for 10-15 dental implants last an outstanding 20+ years with proper cleaning and care.
They are truly a quality, permanent solution for your smile. So which type is right for you? Let’s weigh the options.
A single dental implant, also called an endosteal implant can replace a single missing tooth in your mouth. It is made up of two parts, the metal implant and a prosthetic crown. The implant is inserted into your jaw bone and then a prosthetic tooth is attached to the metal.
Together, these two parts act as a tooth and tooth root, to fully anchor and secure your new tooth in your jaw. Single implants are great for those who only need to replace one missing tooth.
In situations where a patient is missing one or more teeth, there is a different type of dental implant available. As mentioned in our previous post about different types of tooth replacement, dental bridges are often used to replace several teeth in the mouth.
Traditional dental bridges use neighbouring teeth as an anchor to securely attach prosthetic crowns over top. This requires permanent changes to your natural teeth in order to support the bridge. With implant supported bridges, dental implants are placed and used to fill larger gaps in the mouth.
Most often, 2 implants are placed and used to secure a larger bridge. Implant supported bridges are an excellent option for those missing more than one tooth, because they do not require any modifications to your natural teeth.
Now, there’s one thing we have not covered yet and you may be left wondering, ‘what if I’m missing all of my teeth?’ Do not worry, there is a type of dental implant for this scenario as well.
Overdentures, also called snap on dentures are a combination of dentures and dental implants. If you are missing all or most of your teeth, these are the perfect option to restore a full mouth of teeth quickly. If you’ve had dentures in the past, you’re probably used to the many accidents that can happen. Your dentures can slip, they can shift or even fall out of your mouth altogether. They can rub against your gums and cause irritation too.
Overdentures solve these many problems. They use 4-6 implants placed in the jaw to secure a prosthetic denture in place. These implants are strategically placed to provide an even weight distribution on your jaw and provide maximum stability for your teeth.
While the dental implants themselves are permanent, the overdentures are removable and can be snapped off each night and cleaned like regular dentures.
All three of the above implants listed are types of endosteal implants. These are implants that are inserted directly into your jaw bone and look like the natural root of your tooth. There is a different, less common type of implant however, called a subperiosteal implant.
Subperiosteal implants use a type of mental framework, rather than a screw-like implant to secure a prosthetic tooth in the mouth. They are far less common today, with the many medical advancements in bone grafting but traditionally, these types of implants were used when a patient's jaw bone was significantly diminished.
When this happens, a traditional endosteal implant cannot be supported and alternatives are needed. In modern times, when this happens, a patient can receive a jaw bone graft and the bone mass can be restored in order to support the implant. However for those with rare conditions or significant damage, subperiosteal implants are used instead.
Implants are made up of two main materials, these are Titanium and Zirconia.
Titanium implants are by far the most common types of dental implants used in modern dentistry. They are safe, durable and time tested, having been used in medical and dental procedures since the 1950’s.
Titanium is biocompatible, which means that the body does not reject the material, rather, it grows around it and accepts it. This is the reason why implants are so strong, despite being made of metal, they have extra support because the cells in your jaw will actually grow around it and secure it even further, it becomes almost part of your body.
Although titanium implants are the most widely used in dentistry, zirconia implants are also an option for patients. Zirconia is often used for those with sensitivities to metal.
They can also be chosen for aesthetic purposes, due to their white, tooth-like colouring, which makes them virtually undetectable. Zirconia is a type of crystallized ceramic and it is also biocompatible, making it perfectly safe for your body.
If you think you may need dental implants and are unsure about which type to get or the cost of dental implants in Coquitlam, our supportive team at Glen Dental Centre would be happy to help.
We offer a variety of different implant options and can work with you to create your dream smile. Click the link to meet with our dentists and book your appointment.