What Are Dental Implants? Types and Procedure

Dental implants have become increasingly popular, with many people seeing them as the gold standard of tooth replacement options. 

This article will look at dental implants and offer some advice on what they are, why they are such an attractive alternative to traditional dentures, and how you can make sure that you get the best treatment possible if you’re considering getting dental implants yourself. 

What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a dental restoration that replaces a missing tooth root. It is a titanium post (which looks like a screw). This post is placed in your jawbone, allowing it to fuse with your bone over time. Your dentist will then attach an artificial tooth on top of it. Unlike dentures, which can become loose or cause discomfort, dental implants feel and function like natural teeth. 

Although several types of dental implants are available today, they all have one thing in common: they are designed to look natural while providing a long-lasting solution for replacing missing teeth. 

Why consider dental implants over dentures, bridges, or partials?

Although they are more expensive, dental implants have many advantages over other standard tooth replacement methods. They’re entirely customized to each patient’s anatomy, which means that they can integrate with your bite in a way that feels natural. 

Since they’re placed directly into your jawbone, dental implants are well supported by your mouth and therefore less likely to move around or fall out of place. 

Finally, it takes just one trip to get a complete set of dental implants, compared to multiple visits for bridges or dentures. 

The best candidates for dental implants are people who want comfort and full functionality from their new teeth. If you don’t mind paying extra money upfront, you should consider getting dental implants instead of traditional restorations. 

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It is important to note that not everyone is an ideal candidate for dental implants. Your dentist will help you determine if you are a good fit for these restorations during your initial consultation.

Different types of Dental Implants

There are different types of dental implants, each with its advantages. The kind you choose will depend on various factors, including your health and budget. For example, some patients can’t handle minor surgery; others don’t have insurance to cover implant procedures. 

To make things simpler, here’s a brief rundown of three popular implants, as detailed on My Dentist San Francisco website. 

  • Endosteal: This type of implant involves placing screws into your jawbone and then covering them with titanium plates that hold artificial teeth. This procedure is suitable for people who want to avoid major surgery but still need something more permanent than dentures or a bridge. 
  • Subperiosteal: Similar to endosteal implants, subperiosteal devices involve screwing titanium posts into your jawbone. However, instead of attaching metal plates directly onto those posts, you attach a barbell-like component called an abutment that connects your new tooth/teeth to existing ones.
  • Sinus lift: Sinus lifts are a good option for patients with healthy gums but no jawbone. This procedure involves cutting out part of your upper palate and using bone to build up your jawline. Then dental implants can be placed in these newly created areas. The process is quick and relatively painless, it usually takes less than an hour and it doesn’t require general anesthesia or other medical severe procedures 

How does the procedure work?

The procedure typically takes two to three hours. You’ll have an immediate set of teeth in place. The anchor is made of titanium, and sometimes a bone graft material like zirconium oxide will be used during placement. 

Over time, the natural bone will grow into, around, and through your implant as part of an osseointegration process. This integration creates a sturdy foundation that can support natural-looking teeth, one of many reasons dental implants are considered more stable than traditional dentures or bridges. 

Like regular teeth, your implants are made up of living tissue that requires consistent oral care, something you should continue doing to keep them healthy for years to come.

Key Takeaways

Having dental implants is a game-changer. It can restore your smile, improve your confidence, enhance your lifestyle, and change your overall outlook on life. 

If you’re unsure if you’re a candidate for implants but are interested in having them one day, it is essential to schedule an appointment with a dentist specializing in dental implants.

They will consider all of your concerns while assessing whether or not dental implants are right for you.


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