There are two main types of dental implants:
Endosteal: This type of dental implant is placed directly in the jawbone. They are typically made of titanium and shaped similar to small screws.
Subperiosteal: This specific type of dental implant is placed just under the gum, but still on or above the jawbone. Subperiosteal dental implants are used when patients don't already have enough of a healthy jawbone and don't want to or can't go through a bone augmentation procedure in order to rebuild it.
As mentioned above, there are options to rebuild the jawbone if you aren't able to support dental implants. Many techniques can be used in order to rebuild this bone and thus restore your natural jawline. This rebuilding provides your mouth a sturdy foundation for your dental implants. The options available for rebuilding includes the following:
- Bone augmentation. This process, as briefly mentioned above, is when you go through a procedure to regenerate or restore the bone in your jaw when it is otherwise not able to support dental implants. There has been research done about this process that proves using bone additives and other growth factors to fortify the jawbone usually provides the best results.
- Sinus lift. This is also called sinus augmentation or is also referred to as sinus elevation. It involves adding some bone below the sinus in patients where their natural bone has deteriorated because of missing upper back teeth.
- Ridge expansion. If you're looking for dental implants but your jaw isn't wide enough to be able to support dental implants, you can have bone graft material added to a small space, or ridge, that is created along the top portion of your jaw.
It is possible that your dentist will recommend different dental implant options to meet your specific needs. It’s also possible that your dentist may suggest you get some additional treatments for dental implants. These options include the following:
Other Dental Implant Options
Immediate Load Dental Implants: These are also called same day dental implants, or Teeth in a Day. They allow immediate placement of a temporary tooth during the very same appointment that you’re getting your dental implant placement. This is a good option for those who have enough natural bone left for an implant but need it placed immediately.
Mini Dental Implants (MDIs): These are also known by the name of narrow diameter implants, or small implants. They are approximately the size of a toothpick and are much narrower than the most commonly used dental implant options. They are placed in the mouth through a much less invasive technique and are primarily used in order to stabilize the lower denture.
All-on-4 Implants: This option is an alternative to giving a full set of replacement teeth either on the top or bottom jaw, otherwise known as a full arch. Instead, four dental implants are placed in the available bone, thus avoiding the patient’s need for bone grafting.