3D rendering of a dental implant placement procedure.

Different types of dental implants are increasingly becoming the top choice for dealing with missing teeth due to their associated benefits in durability and overall health. Specifically, they can significantly improve oral well-being by helping to prevent bone loss. 

Hence, with broad-based acceptance in the health community, these teeth replacement solutions continue to rise in popularity. In this guide, we’ll examine various types of teeth implants and how they contribute to your dental health.

Understanding Dental Implants: Benefits and Comparisons

When delving into the realm of oral prosthetics, understanding dental implants and their significance is important. Essentially, an implant is a prosthetic root, typically made from titanium, that is placed into the jaw with the purpose of supporting a man-made tooth or even a set of teeth.

The key advantages of these types of teeth implants, when compared to other forms of dental prostheses like conventional bridges and dentures, are numerous.  

  • Prevention of bone loss: A 2017 study published in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research shows that dental implants can help mitigate bone loss that typically happens after tooth loss. [1]
  • Durability: According to a 2022 editorial review from the Journal of Oral Implantology, with proper care, they can last for decades. [2]
  • Security: They are securely anchored to the jaw, which makes them more stable and offer predictable function.
  • Preservation of natural teeth: Unlike tooth-supported bridges, these replacement solutions don’t require altering surrounding natural teeth.
  • Natural feel and look: Thanks to technological developments in dentistry, oral implants closely resemble and feel like a genuine smile.

Implants Versus Other Tooth Restoration Options: A Tabular Comparison

FeatureDental ImplantsTraditional BridgesRemovable Dentures
Support StructureJawboneAdjacent TeethGum and Bone
Oral Health ImpactPromotes bone health; no need to alter other teethRequires changing adjacent healthy teethMay lead to bone loss; less stability
DurabilityHighly durable; can last a lifetime with proper care May need replacementMay need replacement 
FunctionalityClosest to natural teeth; strong and stableGood, but may not feel as naturalLess stable; can slip while talking or eating
AestheticNatural appearance; preserves facial structureCan offer a natural lookLess natural; may affect facial contours
CostInitially higher, but cost-effective long-termModerate initial costGenerally lower initial cost, recurring costs

3 Common Types of Full Mouth Dental Implants

In the realm of dental health, there are distinct kinds of implants, each designed to cater to different needs and circumstances. The three primary types include endosteal, subperiosteal, and zygomatic implants. 

FeatureEndostealSubperiostealZygomatic 
DescriptionMost common type, placed directly into the jawboneSituated on top of the jawbone beneath the gumAnchored in the cheekbone rather than the jawbone
How They WorkFuse with bone through osseointegrationFrame rests on top of jawbone, under the gumsUtilizes the zygomatic bone for support
Ideal CandidatesPatients with adequate jawbone densityPatients with insufficient jawbone for endosteal implantsThose with significant upper jaw bone loss
Procedure OverviewSurgical insertion into jawbone, followed by healing period before attaching prostheticMetal framework placed under gum but above the bone, with posts to attach prostheticsMore complex surgery, involving the cheekbone for placement

Endosteal Implants

3D illustration of a central Incisor recovery by an endosteal implant

Endosteal implants, commonly made of titanium, are the most frequently utilized type, fixed into the jawbone using a surgical procedure. They work by creating a sturdy base for the artificial tooth. [3]

More specifically, the procedural steps for endosteal placement generally encompass:

  1. Direct insertion of the prosthetics into the jawbone.
  2. A period of waiting for the osseointegration process to complete. This is where the bone and implant fuse together.
  3. Final attachment of the prosthetic teeth to the fully integrated implant.
ProsCons
High success rate and durability, often lasting a lifetime with proper care.Requires sufficient jawbone density; patients with bone loss may need additional procedures.
Supports one or several artificial teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.Involves a surgical procedure with a healing period, which may not be suitable for all patients.
Feels and functions like natural teeth, improving chewing and speaking abilities.Higher initial cost compared to other restorative options, though cost-effective in the long term.
Helps preserve the jawbone and prevent bone loss.Risk of complications such as infection, although relatively rare with proper care.

Subperiosteal Implants

3D illustration of the cleavage of the alveolar ridge during a subperiosteal implant surgery procedure.

Unlike endosteal ones, subperiosteal implants are not positioned in the bone. Instead, they lie on top of the jawbone but under the gum tissue. This type works best for patients who don’t have enough healthy jawbones and do not wish to undergo procedures to add bone. [4]

The steps involved in custom subperiosteal creation and placement involve:

  1. Taking a detailed impression or model of the mouth.
  2. Crafting a bespoke prosthetic designed to integrate with the existing jawbone structure.
  3. Following integration and bone healing, the process concludes with surgical closure of the gum tissue, leaving the posts exposed.
ProsCons
Suitable for patients with insufficient jawbone density without requiring bone grafting.Less commonly used due to advancements in bone augmentation techniques.
Offers a non-invasive alternative to bone augmentation for supporting dentures.May not offer the same level of stability as endosteal fixes.
Can be a quicker solution for patients unable to undergo extensive surgery.Potential for higher rates of complication or failure compared to other types.
Provides an option when endosteal solutions are not viable.Might feel less natural compared to implants fully integrated into the jawbone.

Zygomatic Implants

3D illustration of a maxillary prosthesis supported by zygomatic implants.

The least common type of teeth implants, zygomatic implants, are also the most complex. They are used when the patient has insufficient jawbone for an endosteal implant but still has enough cheekbone for this specific fix. [5]

Zygomatic placement procedure generally includes:

  1. Preoperative assessment and planning, often utilizing 3D imaging.
  2. Administration of anesthesia to ensure patient comfort.
  3. Surgical insertion of zygomatic implants into the cheekbone (zygoma).
  4. Closure of the surgery site to facilitate healing.
  5. Post-operative care and monitoring.
  6. After sufficient healing time, prosthetic teeth are connected to the implants.
ProsCons
Ideal for severe bone loss in the upper jaw without needing bone grafting.More complex surgery with a higher skill requirement from the surgeon.
Provides immediate load capability, allowing for faster restoration.Limited to the upper jaw and not an option for lower jaw deficiencies.
Avoids the lengthy bone grafting process and its associated healing time.Potential for sinus-related complications given the proximity to sinus cavities.
Offers a high success rate for patients with significant jawbone atrophy.Post-operative discomfort and swelling might be more pronounced due to the extent of surgery.

Cutting-edge Technologies in Implant Dentistry

Implant dentistry is being constantly reshaped by technologies designed to enhance the accuracy and streamline the processes involved in oral restoration. These advancements provide various advantageous alternatives to conventional protocols, giving patients even more options to choose from.

Immediate Load Implants

Medical model of a patient’s dental jaw with pins in the gums and dental implants.

Immediate load dental implants, also called same-day implants, allow the placement of the final tooth restoration soon after surgery. This technique benefits those seeking immediate results, as traditional techniques require a healing period before restoration. The procedure involves surgically inserting the implant into the jawbone, followed by the prompt attachment of a provisional tooth. [6]

Mini Implants

3D illustration of implantation with mini implants into recessed jaw bone

Mini dental implants offer a less invasive alternative to other types of full-mouth dental implants. They are smaller and, thus, ideal for supporting front teeth, spaces with thin jawbones, or stabilizing lower jaw dentures. Moreover, their smaller size often means quicker, simpler procedures, reduced discomfort, and less impact on the bone and gums. As a result, recovery times may be significantly less compared to conventional substitutions. [7]

All-On-4 Implants

A side view of a model of teeth with All-On-4 implants.

The All-On-4 implant technique involves supporting all teeth on four implants, providing an edentulous patient with a functional and aesthetic prosthetic solution. Importantly, individuals with significant tooth loss who don’t want to deal with removable dentures or don’t have enough jawbone for standard fixes might find All-On-4 an ideal solution. [8]

The following are the major benefits and advantages of this option:

  • Efficient treatment: Supports an entire arch with only four to six implants.
  • Suitable for various conditions: As also highlighted above, it is ideal for patients with significant tooth loss or insufficient jawbone.
  • Fixed solution: Provides a stable and fixed alternative to removable dentures.
  • Improved oral function: Enhances chewing ability, speech, and overall comfort.
  • Shorter treatment time: There is no long healing time before you can use your dental implants.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Offers a natural-looking and aesthetically pleasing smile.
  • Bone preservation: Helps prevent further bone loss in the jaw.

Choosing the Right Type of Implant

Selecting from the different types of tooth implants can be crucial to the success of your oral rehabilitation. Hence, when determining the most suitable type, consider the following key factors:

Implant TypeJawbone RequirementLongevityCostMaintenance
EndostealHigh density & qualityHighModerate to highRegular check-ups
SubperiostealLow densityModerateModeratePeriodic adjustments
ZygomaticViable cheekbone structureHighHighRegular check-ups
MiniLimited bone widthLowerLowerFrequent replacements
All-on-4Adequate for full arch supportHighHigh initial, cost-savings long-termSemi-annual maintenance

Final Takeaway

In conclusion, this breadth and diversity in the type of teeth replacement solutions presents a myriad of opportunities to restore a confident and functional smile. From the most commonly used endosteal implants to the comprehensive restoration offered by All-On-4 treatment, there’s a solution for a range of oral health circumstances. 

Remember, always consult with your oral care professional to identify the different types of dental implants suitable for your needs and thus ensure optimal oral health outcomes. After all, a radiant smile should never be out of reach!

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Contemplating the switch to dental implants? Allow us at Denver Dentures and Implants to lead the way. Seize the opportunity for a no-cost consultation with our team standing by to help you attain a smile that’s both enduring and luminous.Don’t hesitate – schedule your free consultation today and take the first step towards a confident smile powered by implants!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which types of dental implants are best?

All-On-4 implants are recognized for their effectiveness in providing a full-arch restoration with fewer implants and are often recommended for patients lacking sufficient bone density for traditional remedies. This technique utilizes four to six strategically positioned implants to support an entire arch of prosthetic teeth, offering a reliable and less invasive option.

What is the most common implant used in dentistry?

The most prevalent implant type used in dentistry is the endosteal implant, often composed of titanium and placed directly into the jawbone. Their popularity stems from their high success rates and replicated natural root functionality, making them suitable for many patients.

What is the strongest dental implant?

All-On-4 dental implants are renowned for their strength and stability, designed with angled rear implants to optimize load distribution and minimize invasive procedures. Plus, created from robust materials like titanium, this type provides durability and high functionality, approximating natural teeth while needing a shorter healing and rehabilitation period due to its less invasive nature.

What is the safest type of dental implant?

Endosteal implants, made commonly from titanium, are often considered the safest type due to their high success rate, biocompatibility, and decades of clinical use. They’re placed directly into the jawbone, making them a secure choice, particularly in individuals with healthy jawbones and gums.

What type of implant is most expensive?

All-On-4 solutions are often among the most expensive owing to their comprehensive, full-arch restoration capabilities, advanced technology, and the precision required during the procedure. However, prices can greatly vary based on geographical location, oral health situation, the expertise of the dental professional, and additional necessary procedures.

References

  1. Insua, A., Monje, A., Wang, L., & Miron, R. J. (2017). Basis of bone metabolism around dental implants during osseointegration and peri-implant bone loss. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A, 105(7), 2075-2089. https://doi.org/10.1002/jbm.a.36060
  2. Rutkowski, J. L. (2022). Survival rates of dental implants versus teeth. Journal of Oral Implantology, 48(4), 261–262. https://doi.org/10.1563/aaid-joi-d-22-editorial.4804
  3.  Alagatu, A., Dhapade, D., Gajbhiye, M., Panjrekar, R., & Raut, A. (2021). Review of different material and surface modification techniques for dental implants. Materials Today: Proceedings, 60, 2245-2249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matpr.2022.03.338
  4. Anitua, E., Eguia, A., Staudigl, C. et al. Clinical performance of additively manufactured subperiosteal implants: a systematic review. Int J Implant Dent 10, 4 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40729-024-00521-6
  5. Davó, R., Bankauskas, S., Laurincikas, R., Koçyigit, I. D., & Eduardo, J. (2020). Clinical Performance of Zygomatic Implants—Retrospective Multicenter Study. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(2), 480. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020480
  6. (2020). Immediate Loading of Implants Placed by Guided Surgery in Geriatric Edentulous Mandible Patients. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(8), 4125. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18084125
  7. Flanagan, D. (2020). Rationale for Mini Dental Implant Treatment. Journal of Oral Implantology, 47(5), 437–444. https://doi.org/10.1563/aaid-joi-d-19-00317
  8.  Chan, M. H., & Nudell, Y. A. (2021). All-on-4 concept update. Dental Clinics of North America, 65(1), 211–227. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cden.2020.09.014