Types of Dental Implants: Which One Is the Right Fit for You?

In this article, we will explore each type of dental implant and the factors to consider when choosing the right one. With this information, you can make an informed decision about a suitable restoration for your mouth so you can smile more confidently than ever before.

By Dr. Mike Alkateb

Royal Dental Spa Craigieburn

Types of Dental Implants: Which One Is the Right Fit for You?

Royal Dental Spa Craigieburn

A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth root surgically placed into the jawbone to support a replacement tooth. Unlike traditional dentures or dental bridges, dental implants are designed to fuse with your jawbone, providing a stable and durable foundation for your new teeth.

Several types of dental implants are available, each with unique advantages and considerations. It includes endosteal implants, subperiosteal implants, mini implants, all-on-4 implants, and zygomatic implants.

In this article, we will explore each type of dental implant and the factors to consider when choosing the right one. With this information, you can make an informed decision about a suitable restoration for your mouth so you can smile more confidently than ever before.

Summary of the Article:

  • Several dental implant types have different structures, sizes, and recommended dental patient profiles.

  • Dental implants come in varying materials, but titanium and zirconia-based implants are the most popular choices.

  • Endosteal implants are common and widely used. The other types are subperiosteal implants, all-on-4 implants, zygomatic implants, and mini implants.

  • Cost comparison may vary greatly depending on the complexity of the procedure or the number of teeth replacements required. Generally speaking, all-on-4 dental implants have a high-cost range compared to other types.

  • Finding the appropriate dental implant will be determined by the amount of bone density and oral health.

  • A consultation with the dentist is essential when deciding on a suitable type of dental implant.

  • Potential risks and complications can vary for each type of dental implant. The most common is the risk of infection and implant failure, but patients should not worry as the dentist will perform the necessary precautions to prevent such complications.

Types of Dental Implants

Various dental implant types differ in structure, size, and recommended dental patient profile. The variety of dental implants available makes it possible for patients to choose the suitable option for their individual needs:

  • Endosteal implants
    This is the common type of dental implant used by dentists. It looks like a cylinder screw that is designed to insert directly into the jawbone where the lost tooth root was placed before. It serves as an artificial tooth root that holds the dental crown or false tooth with great stability. Endosteal implant suits patients with a wide jaw and strong bone density.

  • Subperiosteal implants
    The subperiosteal implant is a metal frame that sits underneath the gum line but above the jawbone. It is not inserted into the natural bone, making it a better option for patients with inadequate jawbone density to support an endosteal implant.

  • Zygomatic implants
    Zygomatic implants are recommended for patients who have a lack of bone in the upper jaw area. These dental implants are placed into the cheek bones (near the sinuses) instead of the jawbone, providing a stable base for the replacement teeth. The cheek bone is also known as the zygomatic bone, hence the name of this dental implant.

  • All-on-4 implants
    All-on-4 dental implants offer an efficient alternative for individuals who have lost most or all of their teeth. This technique can support a complete set of teeth or the entire arch with only four tooth implants per arch instead of placing a dental implant for each lost tooth root. Patients with substantial bone loss issues may find all-on-4 implants a good alternative.

  • Mini implants
    Mini dental implants are smaller in size compared to traditional teeth implants. They can be used for patients who do not have adequate bone structure to support a standard size of tooth implant. The dental implant surgery can be minimally invasive than traditional procedure. Dentists often use this kind of dental implant for denture stabilisation.

Dental Implant Material Types

Dental implants are well-known as made from titanium, but with the advancements in dental technology, there are new developments in the materials used for implant dentistry. Let’s discuss each in detail:

  • Titanium dental implants
    Titanium implant is a popular choice and the first material that dentists have used for decades. It is highly biocompatible, which means it responds well to human tissue. It has low toxicity levels, making it unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in most patients.

  • Ceramic dental implants
    Ceramic dental implants have been gaining quite a bit of popularity over the past few years. The reason is that this material is non-metal, hypoallergenic, and corrosion-resistant. It is recommended for those looking for a holistic approach to dental restoration.

  • Zirconia dental implants
    Zirconia is becoming a common alternative to titanium implants. They are known for their great strength and biocompatibility because they are metal-free. They are naturally white, which resembles tooth colour. Additionally, this material may give confidence to patients, particularly those concerned about the materials that interact with their bodies.

  • Polymer dental implants
    Polymers are employed in implants because they offer ease of fabrication and flexibility, which allow customising prostheses that can be precisely crafted while maintaining a comfortable fit and bond. Moreover, polymer dental implants also offer biocompatibility, making them less likely to cause adverse effects on the human body.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Dental Implants

While it can be overwhelming to choose from various types of dental implants, gaining the necessary information makes it relatively easier to make an informed decision. Also, with the help of the dentist, patients can find the kind of dental implant that suits their needs and restore their smile, dental function, and overall quality of life. Let’s discuss the following important factors to consider when choosing dental implants:

  • Cost
    It is important to do research beforehand as cost varies greatly depending on the type of dental implants, the complexity of the surgical procedure, or the number of teeth that needs replacement. Generally speaking, receiving the procedure can come at a high cost, and a few factors may explain this. Fortunately, some health funds may provide dental cover, which may help reduce a part of the cost. It is wise to contact the preferred provider to check their policy so patients can come to the dental clinic prepared.

  • Bone density
    It is particularly essential to consider the quality of bones because dental implants require strong and sufficient bone structures to adhere to. The research studied that bone loss can increase the risk of poor osseointegration, which can impede the success rate of dental implants. Dentists use advanced dental technology to assess the condition of the patient’s jawbone or cheekbones thoroughly. A precise evaluation can provide the necessary information for the placement of dental implants.

  • Oral Health
    Good oral health is crucial when getting dental implants. Patients’ gums and bones must be healthy for the artificial teeth to work well. Otherwise, it may hinder the healing process and cause problems in the future. The dentist will check for an existing oral health issue, such as gum disease, that needs to be addressed before the dental implant procedure or suggests another treatment option.

  • Lifestyle factors
    When considering dental implants, lifestyle choices should be considered. According to one study, certain habits like smoking can increase the risk of dental implant failure. Hence, dentists take this into account during the consultation for the treatment to have a favourable outcome.

  • Aesthetic considerations
    Dental professionals pay attention to how dental prosthetics will look in the final process of the treatment. Before getting a dental implant, they must evaluate the area around the implant, which helps to place it in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Cost Comparison of The Different Types of Dental Implants

Each type of dental implant has a unique cost that significantly depends on many factors. This includes the type of material, the nature of the tooth implant procedure, and the count of teeth. The more artificial teeth, the more invasive the procedure, which can often come at a high cost.

For starters, the common type, called endosteal implants, usually costs between $4,000 and $6,000. In comparison, all-on-4 dental implants, which offer a full set of replacement teeth using just four implants, can be expensive, ranging from \$23,000 to \$27,000 per fixed arch. Meanwhile, patients may expect to pay for dental mini implants around $1,500 to $2,500, making them a relatively cheaper option than other teeth implants.

In addition, since subperiosteal teeth implants are now less common nowadays, it can be challenging to discuss the average cost of this treatment. The same goes for zygomatic implants. But to give you an idea, subperiosteal implants may tend to be lower in cost than endosteal implants. In contrast, zygomatic implants may cost slightly higher than regular dental implants.

It is difficult to provide the specific cost of different types of dental implants without proper evaluation. The possible way to get a specific quote for the treatment is to have a consultation with the dentist.

Which Type of Dental Implant Lasts the Longest?

Endosteal implants have been used for many years and have been proven by research to be stable and durable. Their long-term success rate is impressive, with a success rate of 95%. In fact, with proper care, this type of dental implant can last over 20 years on average. This lifespan can be similar to all-on-4 dental implants.

On the other hand, subperiosteal implants were found to have a low long-term success rate in one study. Out of 63 patients, 79% have subperiosteal implants that survived after ten years, and out of 34 patients, 60% have a success rate following 15 years. But these implants did provide an efficient foundation for crowns or artificial teeth and help individuals who couldn’t wear traditional dentures.

Additionally, researchers have reported that zygomatic implants have a success rate of 96.1% over five years. In another study, zygomatic implants remained in good condition over 12 years and had a success rate of 96.7%.

While nearly all kinds of dental implants last for many years, endosteal implants have the edge in terms of longevity. Nevertheless, it is important to note that diligent oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups greatly impact the long-lasting results of the treatment.

What Are the Advantages of Traditional Dental Implants Over Other Types?

Traditional dental implants, also known as endosteal implants, offer several advantages over other types of dental implants. First, they are relatively considered to be a reliable and durable option for tooth replacement since they are surgically placed deep within the jawbone, providing a sturdy and stable foundation for the artificial tooth. Furthermore, endosteal implants have a significantly higher success rate than other types of implants, with studies showing success rates of over 95% in most cases.

Another advantage of endosteal implants is their ability to preserve and stimulate bone growth in the jaw. This is because the implant fuses with the jawbone, simulating the natural structure of a tooth root. It helps maintain the jawbone’s integrity, which may be compromised with other types of tooth implants placed just below the gum line. This also prevents changes in the facial structures.

Can Dental Implants Be Used to Replace Multiple Missing Teeth?

As we’ve mentioned earlier in this blog, dental implants can be viable for replacing multiple missing teeth. For instance, an arch of teeth can be replaced with the all-on-4 technique, which requires only four anchors to replace a complete set of teeth. Alternatively, if a patient has two or more teeth that need to be restored, they can look into getting multiple dental implants instead.

With the variety of options available for dental implants, patients can choose which one can match their individual needs with the help of consulting a qualified dentist.

Possible Risks and Complications

Like any dental surgical procedure, each type of dental implant carries potential risks. The dentist will discuss this with the patient further during the consultation, and they will also take the necessary precautions to prevent any complications.

  • Endosteal implants
    One common risk associated with endosteal implants is infection. It can occur during implant placement or post-operation, leading to inflammation, swelling, and pain. Infection can potentially cause implant failure and may result in the need for removal. In rare instances, failure may occur if the tooth implant doesn’t integrate properly with the surrounding bone.

  • Subperiosteal implants
    The risk of infection is one of the concerning complications associated with subperiosteal, based on the study. It may occur due to inadequate post-operative care or immune system response to the tooth implant. Implant failure is another potential risk, as subperiosteal implants can become exposed or fall out completely in later years, leading to implant mobility or implant loss. Sinus problems rarely occur in subperiosteal implants since they only sit beneath the gum tissues and not deep into the jawbone.

  • Zygomatic implants
    The possible concern with zygomatic implants is sinus problems since they are located near the sinus cavity. If the placement disturbs such an area, it may lead to sinusitis or other related issues. This can manifest as numbness or tingling in the entire cheeks or face area.

  • All-on-4 implants
    There is minimal complication of nerve damage with all-on-4 implants that may result from drilling too deep into the jawbone. Similar to other medical procedures, there is a potential risk of infection, which rarely happen. It may result from unsterilised dental tools during surgery, poor oral hygiene, and implant failure.

  • Mini implants
    Like other dental procedures, there are possible risks and complications associated with the placement of dental mini implants. Infection may develop when bacteria penetrate the surgical site and cause inflammation. There is also a risk of dental implant loss because of improper placement sites.

Alternative Options to Dental Implants

Dental implants change how dentists restore smiles and offer exceptional advantages to improve dental health. However, this tooth replacement may not be suitable for everyone. Fortunately, there are alternative options that can replace lost teeth. It’s essential to know the available alternatives.

  • Dental Bridges
    One common alternative is traditional dental bridges. It consists of one or more artificial teeth called pontics and dental crowns. It relies on crowns that are attached to real teeth (also known as abutment teeth) on either side of the missing teeth to hold the replacement teeth in place. The procedure involves shaping down the natural teeth on both sides of the lost teeth to fit the crowns and support the dental bridges.

  • Dentures
    Another option is traditional custom dentures designed as removable replacements in case of missing several teeth. It provides a flexible, affordable option for those with multiple missing teeth. However, removable dentures may require more care and maintenance than other options.

  • Resin-bonded bridges
    If the patient does not have healthy natural teeth on either side of the missing teeth or prefers a more conservative option than dental implants, resin-bonded bridges can be a good alternative. They are anchored by a metal or porcelain framework bonded to the back of the natural teeth on either side of the gap. Unlike conventional bridges, it does not require the removal of enamel to make room for dental crowns.

  • Removable partial dentures
    Removable partial dentures offer an alternative to dental implants for those looking to replace one or more missing teeth in the lower or upper jaw. It comprises a metal and acrylic frame that uses prosthetic teeth to fill in the gaps. They sit and attach firmly to natural healthy teeth for support and allow patients the convenience of taking them out for cleaning purposes.

How Do I Decide Which Type of Implant Suits My Needs?

Selecting the right type of dental implant requires careful consideration of a few factors. This is important to achieve optimal results and maximise their benefits for oral health. Keeping the following in mind may help patients to decide:

  • The number of teeth that needs restoration.
    Each dental implant has a specific purpose of addressing missing teeth. For instance, if the patient only has one tooth loss, then they may more likely opt for single-tooth dental implants or endosteal.

  • The time period that teeth went missing or underwent tooth extraction.
    It is crucial when deciding what type of dental implant is suitable as the time interval may impact the health or quality of the patient’s jawbone density.

  • Budget or financial situation.
    Knowing the potential cost of dental implants may help patients decide.

  • Personal smile goals.
    Everyone has unique preferences for their smile appearance, which should be discussed with the dentist. So they can help you find options that may fit your liking.

  • Expectations from the dental treatment.
    It is important to consider one’s expectations from dental implants to find possible options that may fit the patient’s expectations and prevent dissatisfaction.

Overall, the better way to decide which type of dental implant suits one’s individual needs is by consulting a dental professional. They have the necessary knowledge and skills in using specific dental equipment to evaluate the mouth, adjacent teeth, and gum tissues necessary to support dental implants and help decide on better dental health.

Final Thoughts

Endosteal implants are the most common type of dental implant, but other options like subperiosteal implants, all-on-4 implants, zygomatic implants, and mini implants are available to meet specific patient needs.

In general, choosing a dental implant depends on individual patient factors such as bone health and oral health. We highly suggest having a consultation with a dentist to gain more information about the treatment and discuss any potential risks and complications.

Royal Dental Spa is here to guide you in understanding and choosing the right dental implant to achieve the long-term benefits of dental restoration. Our team is dedicated to helping individuals restore their dental function and achieve a healthy, confident smile. Our line is open for any inquiries; contact us today!

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