If you are missing one or more teeth, your dentist may recommend dental implants. Implants replace missing or damaged teeth with artificial teeth that function similarly to real ones. They can serve as an excellent, comfortable alternative to dentures. They are also permanent, natural-looking, and easy to care for.
But there are many different options when it comes to dental implants. So, how do you know which ones are right for you and your specific dental needs? This blog post will break down the types of dental implants, their differences, pros, and cons, so you can be one step closer to making an informed decision about your dental health!
If you live in Marlton, NJ, South Jersey, Delaware, or Eastern Pennsylvania, the office of Drs. Rosen & Dworkin can help you choose the right implants and achieve a radiant smile.
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What Are Dental Implants and Why do I Need Them?
If you have missing or damaged teeth, dental implants replace your tooth roots with metal, screwlike posts. This state-of-the-art procedure results in artificial teeth that look and function just like your natural teeth.
Dental implants may be a good choice for you if you are missing one or more teeth, or are unable or unwilling to wear dentures. If a missing tooth is left uncared for, your other teeth may start to shift toward the empty space, causing various other dental issues. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. If properly cared for, they can last for years to come.
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Endosteal Vs. Subperiosteal Implants
The most common types of implants are endosteal and subperiosteal, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Endosteal implants are implanted into the jawbone. Subperiosteal implants are placed underneath the gums but above the jawbone.
In general, subperiosteal implants are better for those who do not have enough bone mass to support an endosteal implant. That said, endosteal implants have a higher success rate, so your dentist may recommend them even if you lack bone mass. In that case, they may also recommend a bone graft to build up your bone mass before placing the implant.
Endosteal implants are the most widely used implants. They are surgically inserted into your jawbone at the location of missing teeth and function just like your natural teeth. While the total process for placing an implant is about 4-6 weeks, you can talk, eat, and drink as normal in between procedures, making endosteal implants a convenient option.
Single Implants vs. Multiple Implants
One of the great benefits of dental implants is that they can be used for a single missing tooth or a full mouth restoration. Depending on your oral health and unique needs, your dentist will create a customized plan to meet your needs.
If you have one tooth that needs to be replaced, a single-tooth dental implant is the best option for you. During this procedure, your doctor will put in a single implant, followed by a single tooth or crown.
If you are missing more than one tooth, multiple-tooth dental implants are the best choice. Your dentist will simply replace the missing teeth with multiple implants.
If you are missing all of your teeth, full-mouth dental implants are what you need. They are an excellent alternative to dentures, as they are generally more comfortable and natural-looking.
Titanium vs. Zirconia
Different types of materials can be used for implants. In general, titanium implants are considered the best option because of their strength, versatility, and compatibility with your jawbone.
Some people don’t like the idea of having metal in their bodies. In that case, different ceramics and polymers are available. The most common alternative to titanium is zirconia.
Zirconia is a more expensive option than titanium, and there have not been as many studies to determine its safety and longevity. So, your dentist may be more likely to recommend titanium.
When it comes to dental implants, there is no one-size fits all solution. The best person to determine the right option for you is your dentist.
Now that you know the differences between some of your implant options, you are set up to have a productive conversation so you can make an informed decision that will make you smile!