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Types of Dental Implants

Dental Treatment
Dental Implants

Many residents in Livingston are trying to decide whether or not dental implants are for them or not. Most of the time, dental implants are considered to be a form of cosmetic surgery since they are a method for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are surgically fused to the jawbone just beneath the gums. These metal posts can provide a stable form of support to which artificial teeth are attached. When dentures or bridges are mounted to the implants it will provide security so that they will not slip especially when speaking or eating. Crowns are sometimes placed over the implants and feel much more natural than simple conventional dentures or bridges. Because they are typically considered to be a cosmetic surgery, implants are not always covered by insurance. Some carriers pay less than 10 percent of the costs.

Types of Dental Implants

The American Dental Association recognizes two different types of implants to be safe: endosteal implants and subperiosteal implants. A subperiosteal implant is typically used when the bones are not wide enough to use other methods.

Endosteal implants are implanted surgically onto the jawbone. Time must elapse so that the gums and tissue can heal and then a second surgery will be performed which connects a post to the originally placed implant. Once healing occurs the number of artificial teeth needed will be attached to the post. They may be grouped together on a bridge or on a denture or attached individually to the post.

Subperiosteal implants are made of a metal frame which is surgically fitted onto the jawbone just below the tissue of the gums. The frame becomes fastened to the jawbone as the gums heal. The posts that were connected to the frame will stick out through the gums and the artificial teeth will then be mounted onto the posts.

Are there different sizes of dental implants?

Every case is unique and many times an individual has varying bone availability and different spacing issues that dictate the size of the implant. Dental implants are typically between 3.5 mm and 4.2 mm in diameter. These are the most common sizes and are usually placed toward the front area of the mouth. They are shorter and narrower when compared to other implant sizes. Wider implants may range from 4.5 mm to 6 mm in diameter and these are typically used in the back portions of the mouth. There is also a size classification of mini or narrow implants. These range from 2 mm to 3.5 mm in diameter and are typically used in cases when patients do not have enough space between the roots to hold a larger implant. These smaller implants are also used in cases where a patient has a lower bone density. This provides extra strength and stability. Mini implants are typically less in cost than other sizes and can be attached to a denture or partial which is supported properly. The size used will be determined for each specific case based on what will be the most effective size to which the artificial teeth are attached.

Who performs dental implants?

Oral surgeons or periodontists perform this type of surgical procedure. In some cases with special training a general dentist is also qualified to perform dental implants. Sometimes dentists have undergone training such that they are able to perform implants at the same time an extraction is made. When dental implants can be placed into a location where an extraction has just occurred, it can make the recovery time much more pleasant and much shorter. It is essential to perform soft tissue or bone rafting in order to secure a proper implant placement and fit.


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