Millions of Americans are missing at least one tooth. The best solution? It depends on each case, but with a success rate of 98%, dental implants make a lot of sense.
However, getting dental implants is a big decision. Not only do they require surgery, but they can also come with a hefty price tag. It's important to understand what you're getting into before committing.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll outline the different types of dental implants. Then we'll briefly explain the pros and cons of dental implants. By the end of this article, you'll know exactly which implant is right for you and what to expect out of the process.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are essentially prosthetic teeth. A qualified dentist will surgically implant the teeth into your jawbone. Dental implants can replace:
- A single missing tooth
- Several missing teeth
- A full set of upper and/or lower teeth
Overall, implants provide a more permanent solution compared to dentures. In general, dentures require regular maintenance and can slip out of place. It's important to note, though, that dental implants are a major dental procedure and require surgery, so they may not be suitable for everyone.
But those who choose dental implants can greatly improve their dental health. The decision to get implants often comes with the confidence to smile again. With advances in technology and techniques, dental implants also look more real than ever.
How Do I Know If I Need Dental Implants?
One sign that you may need dental implants is if you have missing or severely damaged teeth. While dentures or bridges can also address this issue, they require adjustments to healthy surrounding teeth. Implants integrate directly into your jawbone.
Implants can also support dental prosthetics such as crowns and bridges. This may be necessary if your remaining natural teeth are too weak to stand on their own.
Another indication that you may need dental implants is if you experience difficulty with everyday tasks like biting and chewing. This could be a sign of tooth loss or insufficient support in the jawbone.
If these symptoms sound familiar, it's best to consult with your dentist. Ask them about potential implant options for restoring your smile and oral health.
Different Types of Dental Implants
So, you're thinking that dental implants might sound like the right solution for your oral care problems. When it comes to dental implants, it's important to know there are different types available.
One option is endosteal implants, which involve surgically placing small metal posts directly into the jawbone. Another option is subperiosteal implants, where metal frames are placed on top of the jawbone underneath the gum tissue.
And for those with limited jawbone density, there's also the possibility of mini implants, which use smaller posts and often have a quicker healing process. So yes, there are different types of dental implants out there.
Let's explore each type more in-depth to help you find the right types of dental implants for your oral health needs.
Dental Implant Positioning
When it comes to the different types of dental implants, you'll need to first figure out (with the help of your dentist of course) what type of dental implant positioning is right for you. In this context, you have two main choices: endosteal implants or subperiosteal implants.
Unlike other dental implants that go on top of the gum line, endosteal implants are surgically placed into the jawbone and act as a replacement for the root of a tooth.
After placing the implant and letting it heal, a dentist will attach a customized crown, giving the appearance and function of a natural tooth.
This means that endosteal implants can often last for decades with proper care, making them a long-term solution for those looking to restore their smile.
The best part? While they tend to be more invasive and have a longer healing time than other types of dental implants, endosteal implants offer a stable foundation for the replacement tooth. You can also use them to secure dentures or bridges in certain cases.
Instead of being inserted into the bone, subperiosteal dental implants lie on top of the jawbone, with a metal framework extending through and around the gums.
Dentists use these implants when there's not enough healthy jawbone available for traditional implants. They also use them when bone grafting isn't an option.
Like traditional implants, subperiosteal implants require diligent oral hygiene and regular professional maintenance to keep them in good shape. So if your dentist suggests subperiosteal implants for you, make sure you commit to taking excellent care of them.
Dental Implant Material
Next, you'll have to choose the type of dental implant material you want to use. It's one of the most important decisions you'll make aside from choosing your implant dentist!
The most commonly used materials are titanium and zirconia.
Titanium has been the go-to dental implant material for years, as it fuses well with bone tissue and is very durable. However, some people may have metal allergies or sensitivities that could make titanium a poor choice for them.
In those cases, zirconia may be a better option. This ceramic material is biocompatible and strong enough for dental implants, and it also offers a more aesthetically pleasing result since it matches the color of natural teeth.
Ultimately, the best dental implant material for you will depend on factors such as personal preferences and medical conditions, so be sure to talk about your options with your dentist.
Dental Implant Techniques
Finally, it helps to understand different dental implant techniques.
The traditional dental implant procedure involves surgically placing a small metal post into the jawbone to act as a replacement for the root of a missing tooth. Then, an artificial tooth is attached to the post.
Mini dental implants, on the other hand, do not require surgery and can often be placed in just one dental visit. They are smaller in size and are typically used to secure dentures or bridge replacements rather than individual teeth.
Here's a brief breakdown of these various techniques to help ensure you're making the right decision when it comes to dental implants.
All-on-four implants are becoming increasingly popular today.
This type of dental implant technique offers a great alternative to traditional dental implants where all of your missing teeth on one arch can be replaced with just four implants. These implants act as anchors for a full set of artificial replacement teeth.
One of the major advantages is that all-on-four dental implants can often be done in a single procedure, compared to the multiple surgeries and long healing process required for traditional implants.
Plus, since all-on-four uses fewer implants, it's often a more cost-effective option.
Mini Dental Implants
Don't love the idea of surgery? No problem. Mini dental implants are smaller than traditional dental implants. They also require less surgery and healing time than traditional dental implants.
A qualified dentist will insert the mini implant directly into your jawbone, much like a traditional implant, but because it's smaller it doesn't require as much bone material to stabilize it. Plus, mini dental implants can often be placed in just one visit to the dentist.
Immediate-Load Dental Implants
For those in need of a faster solution, immediate-load dental implants might be the best solution.
Unlike traditional dental implants, immediate-load implants can support a replacement tooth as soon as they're placed in the jawbone. This means no more waiting around for months while the implant integrates with your bone.
Immediate-load dental implants also allow for immediate biting and chewing abilities, making them an excellent choice for those wanting to quickly regain their confidence and normal eating habits.
Keep in mind that immediate load implants may not be suitable for everyone, though; your dentist will determine if your jawbone is strong enough to support immediate load implants before proceeding.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Dental Implants
Before making your final decision about the types of dental implants you need, it's worth understanding the pros and cons of dental implants in general. Let's start with the benefits.
First off, dental implants can last a lifetime if properly cared for. Also, they look and feel just like real teeth and can greatly improve your overall appearance and confidence. Plus, they offer better chewing function compared to traditional dentures or bridges.
However, there are also some disadvantages to keep in mind.
Dental implant surgery is a long process that requires multiple appointments. The process can also be expensive. It's also important to have enough bone density in the jaw for successful implant placement. Otherwise, you might need additional procedures.
Ultimately, it's important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding on getting dental implants. While we love helping people transform their smiles with implants, we know they're not the right solution for everybody.
How to Choose the Right Type of Dental Implants
If you're still feeling confused about how to choose the right type of dental implant for your smile needs then don't worry. Most people have trouble figuring out which is going to be best for their oral health and smile long-term.
The type you choose will depend on a few factors, including the condition of your jaw and budget. For instance, if you have enough bone density in your jaw, you might be a good candidate for endosteal implants, which are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone.
However, if your jawbone is unable to support this type of implant, you may want to consider subperiosteal implants, which fit on top of the jawbone instead. Another option would be mini dental implants, which are smaller in size and often used for front teeth.
How do you choose the right material for your dental implants? One factor to consider is your unique dental needs.
For example, if you have a history of sensitivity or gum disease, titanium may be a better choice than zirconia. This is due to its superior strength and biocompatibility.
It's also important to take into account personal preferences. Some people prefer a less visible dental implant material like zirconia. However, others may prioritize strength over aesthetics.
Ultimately, open communication with your dentist is key. They'll help you find the right dental implant material, position, and technique for you. Be sure to discuss any potential concerns and ask any questions before making a decision.
What Is the Cost of Different Types of Dental Implants?
When it comes to the cost of dental implants, there's no one-size-fits-all option. That's often the case when it comes to dental care. The cost can vary depending on the type of implant and how the dentist will place it.
Single-tooth implants typically cost slightly over $5,000. Full-mouth dental implants can cost upwards of $48,000. At Montclair Dental Spa, we can bring those prices down to $1,995 and $18,000 respectively (keep in mind those are starting prices).
Another cost factor is the material used for the implant. Titanium is a common choice for its durability and biocompatibility, but ceramic dental implants may offer esthetic benefits for certain patients and can range from $3,000 to $4,500 per tooth depending on your dentist.
Ultimately, the best way to determine the cost of your dental implant is to consult with a trusted dental professional who can tailor a treatment plan to fit your specific needs and budget.
Get a Free Dental Consultation
Are you ready to improve the health and appearance of your smile? From understanding the different types of dental implants available to assess your smile, the team here at Montclair Dental Spa is ready to help.
Our team of expert dentists will assess your current dental health and discuss potential treatments that can take your smile to the next level. Don't wait. Click here to get in touch to see what Montclair Dental Spa can do for you.