Types of Implants and Restorations
There are now more than 40 different types of what can now be termed traditional or standard implants available today. There are also two others, mini and micro-mini implants. Mini implants are like traditional implants but usually smaller in diameter where as micro-mini implants are a variation of the now more traditional implant design, but smaller, narrower and more screw like in appearance, they are more temporary in nature and designed to be easily removed.
Types of Implant Restorations:
- Single tooth replacements: use one implant and as the name suggests support a single crown.
Multiple tooth replacements: multiple missing teeth can be replaced with multiple implants supporting fixed bridgework as small as a 3-unit bridge supported by two implants, or with multiple implants supporting a greater number of teeth. Usually a minimum number of 4-8 implants are needed to replace a full arch (jaw) of teeth, 10 or more crowns by fixed bridgework.
Combinations of fixed and removable bridgework: generally where implants are used to support a section of fixed bridgework, to which is attached a removable section.
- Over-dentures: where two or more implants, either standard or mini-implants, are placed to provide stabilization of the denture and preserve the underlying bone. Whereas most traditional full dentures press directly on the gum and bone causing bone loss by resorption, implant supported over-dentures protect the bone. Over-dentures are now considered the standard of care by the American Dental Association for the patients who have lost all of their teeth in one or both jaws.
- Anchorage for tooth movement (orthodontics): Implants, either standard, mini, or micro-mini implants, are now being used to provide very stable and non-movable anchor units to allow quicker and easier tooth movement.
- Temporary bridgework: utilize micro-mini implants which are later removed when the permanent implants are healed and teeth permanently replaced. They ensure that at no time will a person be without teeth and can therefore be socially comfortable and functional.
The dental implants are typically titanium, which is safe, and proven effective replacement for the tooth root. It is effective because the implant is placed in the jawbone and fuses with your natural bone, the dental implant are therefore a stable and sturdy base for your replacement teeth.
Various types of dental implants are available, including:
- Endosteal implants are placed in the jawbone. Typically shaped like small screws, cylinders or plates, they are the most commonly used type of implant.
- Subperiosteal implants are placed under the gum but on, or above, the jawbone. This type of implant may be used in patients who have a shallow jawbone and cannot or do not want to undergo a procedure to rebuild it.