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Exploring the Different Types of Dental Implants: A Mouthful of Options

In this blog post, we will explore the different types of dental implants, their advantages and downsides, the factors to consider, and in what situations each is most appropriate.
Admire Dental Butler
Dr. Karthik Lakkaraju
March 15, 2023

Losing teeth can be a frustrating experience that impacts our self-esteem and oral function. Fortunately, dental implants look, feel, and function like natural teeth. With various dental implant options available, it can be confusing to determine which type of dental implant is suitable for a particular case.

In this blog post, we will explore the different types of dental implants, their advantages and downsides, the factors to consider, and in what situations each is most appropriate.

Summary of The Content

  • Dental implants are artificial tooth roots surgically placed into the jawbone to support a replacement crown, bridge, or denture

  • Dental implant types include endosteal implants, subperiosteal implants and zygomatic implants.

  • Factors to consider when choosing dental implants include cost, quality, durability, aesthetics, maintenance, and care.

  • Dental implants offer several benefits to patients, including durability, improved appearance and self-confidence, improved speech and eating ability, and improved oral health.

  • Medical conditions, such as diabetes, and dental conditions, like periodontal disease, can affect the type of dental implant treatment needed.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are artificial roots surgically placed into the jawbone to support a replacement single crown, bridge, or denture. Dental implants are made of titanium or other materials compatible with the human body. The dental implant fuses with the jawbone through osseointegration, providing a secure and stable base for false teeth.

Dental implant procedures have been around for centuries, with ancient civilisations using various materials to replace missing teeth, such as shells, stones, and animal teeth. However, the modern dental implant, as we know it today, was developed in the 1950s by a Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar Brånemark. He discovered that titanium could fuse with bone tissue, leading to the development of titanium dental implants, which is a popular choice for tooth replacement today.

Types of Dental Implants

Several types of implants are available, each with unique characteristics and benefits. Here are common types of dental implants:

  • Endosteal Implants
    Endosteal implants are the most common type of dental implant. They are placed directly into the jawbone and are shaped like small screws. Endosteal implants are ideal for patients with sufficient bone density. The implant will fuse with the jawbone for a few months before the replacement tooth is attached. This surgical procedure requires a longer recovery time.

  • Subperiosteal Implants
    Subperiosteal implants are placed under the gum but on top of the jawbone. A metal frame is placed under the gum, and abutments that will serve as connectors will protrude through it. This is where the replacement dental crown, bridge, or denture will be attached. Subperiosteal implants are an excellent option for patients with thin jawbones or insufficient bone density to support endosteal implants. However, this dental option may not be as stable as endosteal implants and have a higher risk of infection and failure.

  • Zygomatic Implants
    Zygomatic implants are longer than other dental implants and are anchored in the cheekbone (zygoma) rather than the jawbone. Zygomatic implants are an option for patients with severe bone loss in the upper jaw or who have failed previous attempts at dental implant placement. They can support a full arch of teeth, and patients can undergo the procedure without the need for bone graft material.

However, zygomatic implants have a higher risk of complications. It is a more complex procedure that can also be expensive. Zygomatic implants are suitable for patients with severe upper jawbone loss or those who have experienced failed dental implant placement. However, they may not be suitable for people with a high risk of complications or who have certain medical conditions.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Dental Implants

When considering dental implants, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you choose the right option for your case. Here are some essential factors to consider when choosing dental implants:

  • Cost:
    Dental implant costs vary depending on the type of implant, the materials used, and the location of the dental practice. While the cost of dental implants is higher than other tooth replacement options, such as removable dentures or dental bridges, they can last for decades with proper care, making them a good long-term investment in your oral health.

  • Quality:
    The quality of dental implants is crucial to ensure that they are safe, effective, and long-lasting. Dental implants should be made of high-quality materials and placed by a qualified and experienced dental professional to ensure their success.

  • Durability:
    Dental implants should be durable and able to withstand the forces of daily use, such as biting and chewing. While all types of dental implants are durable and long-lasting if taken care of properly, some types may be more suitable for specific cases.

  • Aesthetics:
    The aesthetics of dental implants are essential for people who want their replacement teeth to look natural and match their existing teeth. Zirconia implant posts, for example, can offer a more natural-looking option than traditional titanium posts.

  • Maintenance and Care:
    Maintenance and care are necessary to ensure the longevity of the dental implant. Regular dental check-ups, proper oral hygiene, and a healthy lifestyle can help ensure the success of dental implants.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth. They offer numerous benefits, including:

  1. Improved Appearance:
    Dental implants are designed to look and feel like natural teeth. They are custom-made to match the colour, shape, and size of your existing teeth, resulting in a natural-looking smile.

  2. Improved Comfort:
    Dental implant metal posts are surgically placed in the jawbone, which means they are firmly anchored and won’t shift or slip like traditional dentures. This results in improved comfort while eating, speaking, and smiling.

  3. Improved Speech:
    Missing teeth can cause speech problems, but dental implants can help restore proper speech patterns.

  4. Improved Eating:
    Missing teeth can make it difficult to eat certain foods, but dental implants function like natural teeth, making it easier to eat a variety of foods.

  5. Durability:
    Dental implants are durable and can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.

  6. Preservation of Jawbone:
    Tooth loss causes a lack of stimulation and bone resorption. This then leads to decreased bone mass in the jawbone. Dental implants stimulate the jawbone, preventing bone loss and preserving the integrity of the jaw bone structure.

  7. Improved Oral Health:
    Dental implants don’t require the removal of healthy tooth structure, as with traditional bridgework. This means adjacent teeth remain intact, promoting better long-term oral health.

Overall, dental implants are an excellent solution for individuals who have lost one or more teeth, as they offer a long-lasting, natural-looking solution that improves oral health, speech, and quality of life.

Which Type of Dental Implant Is the Most Durable?

When it comes to the durability of dental implants, it’s important to note that all dental implants are designed to last for a long time. To determine which type of implant is most durable, there are two primary factors to consider: the implant material and its design.

The material used in dental implants can be titanium, zirconia, or a combination of both. Titanium implants are the most commonly used and have been proven to be highly durable and long-lasting. They are also biocompatible, which means they are unlikely to be rejected by the body.

On the other hand, zirconia implants are relatively new, but they are gaining popularity due to their aesthetic advantages. However, they are not as widely tested and may not be as durable as titanium implants.

Regarding the design of dental implants, there are two main types: screw-retained and cement-retained. Screw-retained implants are considered to be more durable than cement-retained implants because they provide a stronger and more stable connection between the implant and the abutment. The screw holds the abutment in place, providing a more secure fit.

Titanium implants are generally considered the most durable, and screw-retained implants are more durable than cement-retained implants. However, it is important to note that the durability of the implant also depends on various other factors, such as the patient’s oral hygiene, bone quality, and the skills of the implant dentist.

Does a Medical Condition Affect the Type of Dental Implant Needed?

Medical conditions, such as diabetes, as well as oral diseases like periodontal or gum disease, can affect the type of dental implant treatment needed. Patients with medical conditions that affect the jawbone or mouth tissues may require additional procedures or precautions before dental implant surgery. Also, people who smoke may have a higher risk of implant failure due to reduced blood flow and a weakened immune system. Choosing an implant type that can withstand these conditions is crucial to treatment success.

Additionally, individuals with certain medical conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, may require special considerations when undergoing dental procedures, including surgical placement of implants. Your dentist will develop a comprehensive treatment plan that minimises the risk of complications and maximises the chances of success.

On the other hand, healthy patients are generally good candidates for dental implant treatments. The type of implant used depends on several factors, such as jawbone density and desired outcome. Regardless of medical conditions, dental implants offer patients a natural-looking and feeling smile, improving oral health, aesthetic function, and overall quality of life.

How Can I Choose Which One Is Right for Me?

When considering getting an implant, one common inquiry is how to select the appropriate type from the various implant options available. Bone tissue density is crucial in determining a patient’s suitability for dental implants. Individuals with healthy jawbone density and good oral health are excellent candidates for endosteal implants. This type of implant provides outstanding stability and functionality for replacing missing teeth. However, patients with weakened jawbones or bone loss issues may need additional procedures, such as bone grafting, to give sufficient support to the implant.

Subperiosteal implants are an option for patients with thin jawbones or insufficient bone density to support endosteal implants. However, they may not be as stable as endosteal implants and carry a higher risk of infection or implant failure.

Zygomatic implants are suitable for people with severe bone loss in the upper jaw or who have failed previous attempts at dental implant placement. However, they may not be suitable for people with a high risk of complications or with certain medical conditions.

Choosing the right dental implant involves a balancing act between factors such as cost, quality, durability, aesthetics, maintenance, and care. Patients can enjoy improved daily function, aesthetics, and oral health by choosing the ideal replacement option.

Final Thoughts

There are various implant types available for people with different needs and situations. Consider the factors mentioned in this blog when choosing the right dental implant, and consult with a qualified dental professional. Our experienced dental team at Admire Dental Butler will help determine the right option based on individual patient requirements. Book an appointment with us today and regain confidence and a brilliant smile with the right dental implant. 

dr lakkaraju


Dr. karthik lakkaraju

Dr. Karthik sees joy in his work to transform patients’ smiles through his comprehensive treatment plans. His years of experience have earned him a good reputation for improving oral health.