woman touching her face and holding model of dental implantDental implants are the next best thing to natural teeth. The implant itself acts as a natural tooth root that stabilizes the prosthetic so that people can chew, talk, and smile normally again. In addition to a familiar feeling of self-consciousness, missing and extremely damaged teeth puts people at risk for oral health problems, including:

  • Bone loss
  • Losing more teeth
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Gum disease
  • TMJ disorders
  • Altered face shape
  • Nutritional deficits

Planning the dental implant procedure is not a one-size-fits-all process. Oral surgeons and patients work together to decide how many dental implants are required, material, and placement. 

Implants Can Replace One Tooth, Several Teeth, or All Teeth

Dental implants can replace a single tooth, a few adjacent teeth, or a complete row of teeth. 

Although some may ignore replacing a single tooth, losing even one tooth can cause a host of issues, including structural changes to the face and jaw. Oral surgeons top single dental implants with a ceramic crown for a more balanced appearance, function, and feel.

When most teeth are beyond repair, oral surgeons may remove them and create implant-supported dentures for upper or lower jaws. Additionally, oral surgeons apply dental implants to stabilize bridges or partial dentures. When patients need to replace multiple teeth or stabilize restorations, they may require multiple implants to avoid slipping, sliding, or other embarrassing moments.

Titanium or Zirconia

For many years, all dental implants were derived from titanium. In recent years, zirconia implants have emerged as a replacement for metal implants. Both materials are durable, biocompatible, long-lasting, and have high success rates. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of both dental implant materials:

  • Titanium is the most common material used for dental implants and is reasonably priced but is not suitable for patients with metal allergies. Titanium is more customizable and is placed in three components: the implant, abutment, and connecting replacement tooth.
  • Zirconia is a ceramic material that is strong, safe, and aesthetically pleasing. Zirconia implants are manufactured in one unit, which reduces the likelihood of hidden bacteria. On the other hand, they are more expensive than titanium implants.

Endosteal vs Subperiosteal 

In short, the difference between endosteal and subperiosteal implants is placement:

  • Endosteal posts are implanted into the jawbone and take four to six weeks to osseointegrate (fuse) to the bone. Endosteal implants are the most popular type of dental implant. 
  • Subperiosteal implants rest on top of the jawbone but under the gum tissue. They fasten to the jawbone over time.

The implant placement method that is most suitable for you depends on your jawbone’s health, size, and shape. If patients do not have adequate jawbone, they must have a bone graft before placing an endosteal implant. 

Subperiosteal implants are ideal for patients that cannot support surgical endosteal implant insertion, need to avoid bone grafting, and want a faster healing process. Dental implants have a 98% success rate; however, endosteal implants are more successful than subperiosteal.

Schedule a Dental Implant Consultation in Colleyville, TX

As you can see, missing teeth can affect more than appearance. However, early intervention with dental implants can reduce damage to overall health and save patients money in the long run. Dr. Tye is a highly-rated oral surgeon in Colleyville, TX that can help you decide if a dental implant is the most appropriate next step to enhance your smile. If you’re missing a tooth or believe that your existing tooth may benefit from a replacement, call 817-552-3223 or schedule an appointment online with us.