Before just jumping into a dental implant procedure, it’s important to be aware of the different types of implants, materials, and strategies available in order to ensure the operation’s success. Take a look below at the many variables involved in helping you to choose the perfect dental implant for you that will guarantee the safest and most comfortable experience.

Be sure to read our full dental implant guide here:


Single vs. Multiple Dental Implants

The first thing to take note of is exactly how many teeth need to be replaced. One patient might just need a single tooth replacement whereas another will need multiple dental implants to correct missing teeth in a targeted area.

Single tooth replacements are, of course, faster to install because the dental surgeon only has one area to operate on. However, multiple dental implants aren’t uncommon in patients because the area where one tooth is suffering from poor dental health usually impacts the surrounding teeth as well.

Multiple tooth implants usually take the form of a bridge, similar to a temporary bridge, but instead, it is permanently attached to two or more metal posts that act as the “root” of the implant. These “roots” are surgically embedded into either the patient’s jawbone or their gums depending on shallow their jawbone is.

Bridged dental implants are also unique from single tooth implants in that not every tooth necessarily needs its own root. A three-tooth dental implant, for example, would commonly only have two metal posts acting as the roots to secure the multi-tooth bridge to the patient’s jawbone—not three. A patient can also get a full-mouth implant to replace all of their top or bottom teeth if necessary. This larger implant would typically only have four posts securing the implant to the patient’s jawbone.


Different Implant Materials

As far as a dental implant’s composition goes, it commonly is crafted into three major parts: the root, crown, and abutment. The root of the implant is often made of a metal substance such as titanium, but some newer materials that some dental surgeons are using include entirely ceramic posts. Patients with metal allergies or who want to opt for a more non-corrosive implant option can choose ceramic roots to prevent otherwise harmful reactions.

A dental implant’s crown is usually crafted from porcelain, metal, other ceramic materials, or a mixture of these all combined into one. An crown made entirely of porcelain is definitely more appealing to patients, in most cases, because of its natural-looking appearance in comparison to metal fillings in the center of the crown. Abutments can also be made of materials similar to the crown piece of the dental implant depending on a patient’s personal allergies or preferences.


Dental Implant Shapes and Sizes

Each implant is distinctive when it comes to its measurements and shape. More often than not, the post part of the implant is usually a metal screw-like shape that can be tightly sealed into the patient’s jawbone. The shape of the implant actually varies mostly with the crown because crowns and bridge implants are crafted to fit alongside the patient’s other teeth without causing crowding issues, etc.

To ensure that an implant will have no impact on altering the proper alignment of the patient’s teeth, dental professionals take care to custom-craft crowns that are unique in their dimensions. Sizing of the implant is also extremely crucial to prevent the patient from facing harm or pain. Dental implant posts that are too long and drilled deep into the jawbone can actually cause nerve damage. Ill-fitting crowns can similarly cause damage, but to the patient’s gums instead; this triggers gum irritation, bleeding, and even more severe issues later on.


Subperiosteal vs. Endosteal

Referring back to how some patients require different types of implants depending on their jawbone depth, there are two main surgical types of implants—subperiosteal and endosteal.

Endosteal implants are the more common type of dental implant; they are the type that is installed into the patient’s jawbone. Both types of implants require precise application by the hand of a dental expert, but endosteal implants are considered less risky. Endosteal implants are at less risk of maladjustment because they are more securely screwed into the jawbone rather than the gums. They also tend to heal more naturally when coated with a regenerative substance that allows the bone to heal properly around the post.

Subperiosteal implants are embedded into the gums. Patients usually require this type of dental implant because they have shallow jawbones which are risky to drill into because the post of the implant can be installed to deep into the bone or cause severe nerve or gum damage. Subperiosteal implants rest just above the jawbone in the gums and because of their placement, are more likely to move around making them less secure.


Learn More

Understanding what implant is right for you can be a challenge all on your own. So, why not reach out to someone that has expertise in the field? Be sure to contact your local dental practice today to find out more about dental implants and what is the right option for you.

If you are located in or near Burke Virginia, feel free to call our dental office @ (703) 978-6000 or by requesting an appointment online.

Related article: Do You Need Anesthesia for Dental Implants?

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