Losing a tooth, especially if it’s the first time you’ve experienced it, can be a very traumatic experience. Missing teeth not only can have an impact on a person’s appearance; it can make it more difficult to eat and speak, and that’s why most people who have missing teeth are looking for ways to have them replaced. Dental implants are one of the most common and popular cosmetic dental procedures. In fact, dental implants have become quite possibly the most popular method of restoring missing teeth. There are several types of dental implants available today for patients who have lost one or more teeth. If you’re considering methods of restoring lost teeth, it’s important that you get all the facts about dental implants in order to make the most informed decision possible.

Dental implants aren’t like dentures because they’re a much more permanent solution to missing teeth. Additionally, dental implants are designed to become an integral part of your mouth. Implants look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth, and that’s why they’ve become so popular among dental patients. Some implants are anchored into the jawbone with screws via a surgical procedure, and this means that they perform more like natural teeth. There are two main categories of dental implants. These are endosteal and subperiosteal, of which most types of dental implant fall into one category or the other. The most common types of implants are plate form and root form.

Endosteal Implants

The word ‘endosteal’ means ‘located within the bone. ‘ For endosteal implants, a cosmetic dentist typically will drill holes into the jawbone, following which titanium screws, blades, or metal cylinders will be placed in order to hold implants in place. The process for endosteal dental implants involves one or more surgical procedures with time in between for healing. Endosteal implants are considered to be more permanent, which is one of the main reasons patients choose them over dentures. Two of the main types of endosteal implants are root form and plate form.

Subperiosteal Implants

The other main category of dental implant is subperiosteal, which means ‘beneath the periosteum’ (the dense, fibrous connective layer of tissue that covers the bones). Subperiosteal implants are placed on top of the jawbone, and the metal framework of the implant’s posts protrudes above the gums in order to hold the artificial tooth in place. These implants are used on patients whose bone is too minimal in height to hold endosteal implants.

Root form Implants

Root form implants are also called ‘screw type implants.’ These are used on patients whose jawbone is wide and deep enough to enable a cosmetic dentist to secure this type of implant in properly. Root form implants are attached using a surgical procedure in which screws are placed to eventually secure implants in place. During the surgery, the jawbone will be exposed and holes will be drilled in order for screws or cylinders to be placed.

Plate form Implants

Plate form implants are also called blade form implants. These implants are similar to root form because they are secured in place during a surgical procedure. However, unlike root form implants, plate form are used on patients whose jawbones are too narrow to accept root form implants. The implants used in this procedure are longer and flatter, which allows them to be placed and secured in smaller, more narrow jawbones. Placement of this type is similar to that of root form, but in this case they are used because grafting is not suitable due to the patient’s narrow jawbone. During this procedure, a cosmetic dentist will place a long, flat piece of metal under the gums which will lie on top of the bone. The gums are stitched closed, and the recovery period will take roughly six months for the bone and metal to fuse. Upon healing, the implants will be anchored into the metal plate.

Dental implants are fast becoming cosmetic dentistry’s most popular option when it comes to restoring the appearance and function of a patient’s natural teeth. Millions of dental patients who have lost one or more teeth have opted for dental implants, with more than half a million choosing this tooth restoration method every year. If you’re someone who has lost one or more teeth and you’re looking for the most appealing and effective means of replacement, contact a cosmetic dentist to schedule a consultation to have all your questions about dental implants answered.

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