male dentist showing patient the artificial dentures

Dental Implants: Which One is Right for You?

Do you want to improve your smile without the hassle of traditional dentures? Dental implants are a great option for patients seeking a reliable tooth replacement. With this dental procedure, you’ll get natural-looking teeth designed to be durable and enhance the overall appearance of your teeth.

In this blog post, you will learn the different types of dental implants, their advantages and disadvantages, and how to choose the right one for your needs. Read on and be informed about the convenience and confidence of tailored implant technology!

Summary of the Article

  • A single-tooth implant is used as a single-tooth replacement.

  • A multiple-tooth implant is used to replace multiple missing teeth.

  • The three basic types of dental implants are endosteal, subperiosteal, and zygomatic implants.

  • The dentist may perform other bone augmentation procedures, sinus lift, and ridge expansion in case a patient has significant bone loss.

What Are the Different Types of Dental Implants?

Dental implants have a wide array of options that will suit your dental needs. They are designed to replace a single tooth or an entire row of teeth in an arch. Before we dig into the different types of implants, it is good to understand the difference between a single implant and multiple implants.

  • Single-tooth implant:
    Single-tooth implants are used to replace one missing tooth.

  • Multiple-tooth implant:
    Multiple implants are used to replace more than one missing tooth.

  • Full-mouth implant:
    Implant dentures are used to replace a full arch of missing teeth.

Meanwhile, there are three basic types of dental implants. Their main difference lies in how they are installed into the jawbone.

  • Endosteal implants:
    Endosteal implants are dental implants that are surgically embedded in the jawbone to support a replacement tooth or teeth. They are usually made of titanium or a titanium alloy and consist of a screw-like post that is inserted into the jawbone and a connector, called an abutment, that protrudes above the gumline.

  • Subperiosteal implants:
    These dental implants sit above the jawbone, under the gums. This makes use of a post-mounted metal frame inserted under the gums. The frame will then fuse with the bone, and the gums will seal the frame. Once it’s healed, the artificial teeth will be attached to the post. This method is recommended for patients with insufficient bone mass or those who don’t want extensive oral surgery to augment the insufficient bone.

  • Zygomatic implants:
    They are the rarest type of dental implant. This is only done if the patient doesn’t have enough natural bone in the jaw. This implant is attached to the cheekbone instead of the jawbone.

Dental implants require sufficient bone density in order to be successful. If you have insufficient bone mass or you have a poor bone quality which cannot support dental implants, your dentist may suggest additional surgeries such as:

  • Bone Grafting:
    Bone grafting is a surgical procedure involving the placement of a bone graft to stimulate bone growth in the affected area.

  • Sinus Lift:
    This process is also called a sinus augmentation. This treatment involves raising the sinus membrane to allow the placement of the bone graft material in the upper jaw.

  • Ridge Expansion:
    If dental implants don’t fit because the patient has a narrow jaw, the dentist may divide the inner and outer bone segments and wedge a bone graft in the middle.

What Are Endosteal Implants and How Do They Work?

Endosteal dental implants are the most common type of dental implant. They are a popular choice because of their high success rate. These dental implants are inserted into the jawbone to act as an artificial root. However, a patient must meet the following criteria before getting a dental implant.

  • Healthy gums with no periodontal disease
  • Has a completely developed and adequate jawbone
  • Must have good oral hygiene
  • Must be willing to avoid tobacco products if a patient is a smoker
  • Good overall health

Once the patient is qualified for endosteal implants, the dentist may proceed with the dental implant surgery. Below is an overview of the process:

  1. Insertion of an endosteal implant
    The dentist will numb the area using local anesthesia and then proceed to incise the gums to expose the bone underneath. A hole will be drilled into the bone, and the implant post will be embedded into it to act as an artificial tooth root. The gums will be closed using stitches.

    After the insertion of a dental implant, the patient can anticipate the following:

    • swelling around the implant site
    • bruising in the skin and gums
    • discomfort and bleeding

    You’ll be given instructions on how to care for your mouth and teeth after the surgery. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics and painkillers as well. In addition, your dentist will also recommend modifications in your diet, including eating soft foods for the first couple of days.

  2. Osseointegration
    Osseointegration refers to the fusion of the dental implant into the surrounding bone. This helps create a stable base for the implant. This process usually takes three to six months to be completed.

  3. Installing an Abutment
    Once the osseointegration process is completed, the dentist will reopen the gums to place the abutment, which is a connector piece that joins the implant and the dental crown. The replacement tooth will then be affixed to the abutment.

What Is the Difference between Endosteal Implants From Subperiosteal and Zygomatic Implants?

The primary differences between endosteal, subperiosteal, and zygomatic implants are their placement within the bone structure, their suitability for specific patient conditions, and the surgical techniques required for their insertion. Described below are the different types of dental implants and their unique characteristics:

  • Endosteal Implants:
    Endosteal implants are the most common type of dental implant. They are placed directly into the jawbone and are usually made of screw-shaped titanium. They are suitable for patients with healthy jawbone density and sufficient bone height, and they require a two-stage surgical process: implant placement and abutment and crown attachment. Endosteal implants are known for their high success rate and long-term stability.

  • Subperiosteal Implants:
    Subperiosteal implants are less common than endosteal implants. They are used for patients with insufficient bone height or who cannot undergo a bone grafting procedure. They consist of a metal framework with posts protruding through the gums, and they are placed on top of the jawbone but under the gum tissue. Subperiosteal implants usually require a single-stage surgical process, as the framework is inserted and exposed through the gum tissue. However, it may not provide the same level of stability as endosteal implants.

  • Zygomatic Implants:
    Zygomatic implants are the least common of the three implant types. They are used for patients with severe bone loss in the upper jaw. They are longer than traditional endosteal implants, and they are placed into the zygomatic bone (cheekbone) instead of the jawbone. Zygomatic implants can be used as an alternative to extensive bone grafting procedures, but they usually require specialized surgical techniques and experienced dental surgeons.
dentist communicates with the patient. the patient in the dental chair listens to the doctor's advice

What Are the Benefits of Single Dental Implants?

Single dental implants offer several benefits when it comes to replacing a missing tooth. Some of the key advantages include close resemblance to natural teeth, restored ability to chew and speak properly, bone loss prevention, and durability.

Compared to dental bridges, one of the most significant benefits of single implants is the preservation of healthy teeth. Single implants can replace a missing tooth without using healthy neighbouring teeth as an anchorage. Therefore, trimming the adjacent teeth is not required. This allows the preservation of the natural tooth structure.

Can Implant Bridges Be Used to Replace Multiple Missing Teeth?

Dental implant bridges are another way to replace multiple missing teeth. They are a combination of dental implants and dental bridges. They do not rely on natural teeth for support. Instead, they are held in place by dental implants.

Once the titanium posts are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone, a dental bridge is attached to the dental implants. The dental bridge replaces multiple teeth by filling in gaps left by missing teeth. 

What Are Implant-Supported Dentures?

Implant-supported dentures are a fixed type of dental prosthesis supported by dental implants that are surgically placed into the jawbone. Unlike traditional dentures that sit on the gums and can slip or move around, implant-supported dentures are anchored to the jawbone, which can provide greater stability and support.

The number of implants required for implant-supported dentures varies depending on the individual patient’s needs and the condition of their jawbone. In general, 6-8 implants are used to support a complete denture. This creates a secure and stable foundation for the denture, which can help improve chewing function, speech, and overall quality of life.

What Is an Implant-Retained Denture, and How Does It Work?

An implant-retained denture is a removable denture held in place by dental implants. This type of denture is supported by 2-4 dental implants, making it more stable than traditional dentures. It allows patients to speak, chew, and go about their daily lives without worrying about their dentures slipping out of place. They also help keep the jawbone strong and healthy by transferring chewing forces directly into it, like natural teeth. There are two types of implant-retained dentures:

  • Ball-retained dentures:
    Also known as stud-attachment dentures, ball-retained use dental implants that have a ball-shaped attachment on the end. The denture is fitted with a socket that snaps onto the ball-shaped attachment on the implant.

  • Bar-retained dentures:
    Also known as clip attachment dentures, bar-retained dentures use dental implants that are connected by a thin metal bar. The denture is fitted with clips that attach to the metal bar.

What Are All-On-4 Dental Implants, and How Does It Differ From Other Types of Dental Implants?

The All-on-4 dental implant procedure is used to replace a full arch of teeth (upper or lower jaw) using only four dental implants. This technique was developed to help patients who have lost most or all of their teeth and are looking for a more stable and comfortable alternative to traditional dentures.

The All-on-4 technique differs from other types of dental implant procedures in several ways:

  1. Fewer implants:
    The All-on-4 technique uses only four dental implants per arch, which is significantly fewer than the number of implants used in traditional implant-supported dentures.

  2. Angled implant position:
    The dental implants used in the All-on-4 technique is placed at an angle, which allows for greater stability and support.

  3. Reduced need for bone grafting:
    Because the All-on-4 technique uses angled implants, it can often be used for patients who have experienced significant bone loss in their jaw without the need for bone grafting procedures.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

The cost of dental implants can vary widely depending on several factors, including the number of implants required, the type of implant used, the location of the dental clinic, and the experience and expertise of the dental professional performing the procedure.

In general, the cost of dental implants can range from \$4,000 to \$6,000 per implant. This includes the cost of the implant itself, as well as the cost of the surgical procedure to place the implant in the jawbone. However, it is important to note that this is only an estimated cost. Patients are advised to have a consultation with their dentist for them to have a more accurate cost estimate. 

How Can I Determine Which Type of Dental Implant Is Right for Me?

Determining which type of dental implant is right for you will depend on several factors, including the number of missing teeth you need to replace, the condition of your jaw bone, your overall oral health, and your budget.

Here are some factors to consider when determining which type of dental implant is right for you:

  1. The number of missing teeth:
    If you are missing one or a few teeth, a single implant or implant-supported bridge may be a good option. If you are missing a full arch of teeth, implant-supported dentures or the All-on-4 technique may be more suitable.

  2. Jawbone density:
    If you have experienced significant bone loss in your jaw, you may require bone grafting procedures or a more specialized type of implant, such as the subperiosteal or zygomatic implant.

  3. Overall oral health:
    Patients with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or gum disease, may require additional treatment before undergoing dental implant procedures.

  4. Cost:
    Dental implant procedures can be costly, and different types of implants and procedures can vary in cost. It’s important to discuss your budget and financing options with your dentist.

  5. Personal preferences:
    Some patients may prefer a certain type of implant or procedure based on factors such as comfort, ease of maintenance, or length of treatment time.

To determine which type of dental implant is right for you, it’s important to schedule a consultation with a dentist who can evaluate your needs and recommend the proper course of action. They can also answer any questions you may have and help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each option.

Final Thoughts

Implant dentistry has come a long way since its development in 1952. There are different types of dental implants, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, and it is essential to consider several factors before choosing the right one for you. With the help of your dentist, patients can get the right dental implant suited to their needs.

If you need dental implants, look no further than West Perth Dental! Their experienced dentists are well-versed in various dental implant types and procedures, ensuring a safe dental implant procedure. With state-of-the-art technology and modern implant techniques, West Perth Dental provides high-quality dental implants to suit your dental needs. Moreover, you can be sure that your oral health is our priority. 

Dr. Michael Wu


Dr. Michael Wu

Dr. Michael Wu holds a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Western Australia. He never stops learning and regularly attends post-graduate education seminars, courses, and conferences to ensure he is providing his patients with excellent dental care.

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