Dental implants are a type of dental prosthetic used to replace missing teeth and are designed to look, feel and act like your natural teeth. Implants can be used to restore both the function and aesthetic of a smile and are considered by many to be the ideal solution for tooth loss. There are several types of implants, each with distinct advantages.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the different types of dental implants and explain their benefits and drawbacks.

Types of Implants

One of the most common types of dental implants is the endosteal implant. This type of implant consists of a titanium post surgically placed into the jawbone and then topped with a dental crown or bridge. The titanium post acts as an artificial root that eventually fuses to the bone. Endosteal implants are one of the most popular types of dental implants due to their stability and long-term success rate.

Subperiosteal implants are another type of implant, but instead of being placed directly into the jawbone, they are secured above it. A metal frame is placed onto the jawbone, and healing abutments are attached to the frame. After several months of healing, a crown or bridge can be placed onto the abutments. Subperiosteal implants are most commonly used for people with shallow jawbones that cannot support endosteal implants.

A third type of dental implant is the zygomatic implant. This type of implant is used when the patient does not have enough bone density in their jaw for placing any other type of implant. The zygomatic implant is a long titanium screw placed into the cheekbone that is typically incorporated into a full arch prosthetic. 

Benefits and Potential Drawbacks

Endosteal Implants: Endosteal implants are the most common type of traditional implant, offering several benefits. They provide good stability and can support individual teeth as well as dentures or bridges when multiple teeth are missing. Endosteal implants require maintenance similar to natural teeth and can last many years with proper care. The main potential drawback is that they require adequate jawbone density for successful implantation, and some patients may not have enough.  However, in most cases, well-trained, skilled surgeons can grow enough bone to place these types of implants.

Subperiosteal Implants: Prior to endosteal implants, subperiosteal implants were a good option for patients with insufficient jawbone density to support endosteal implants. They can provide similar stability with guarded longevity. The potential drawbacks are that they can be more difficult to maintain since there is no biologic seal, and they do not last as long as endosteal implants.

Zygomatic Implants: Zygomatic implants offer a good solution for patients who lack sufficient jawbone density for other types of implantation. They provide good stability and support, but the surgery is more complex than endosteal or subperiosteal implantation. The potential drawbacks of zygomatic implants are that they require a longer healing time and may not be suitable for all patients.  There is also a high rate of long-term sinus complications, and the surgery has a higher risk.

Mini Implants

Mini implants have been around for years. In the past, they were used as a temporary or less expensive solution to secure a lower denture.  Mini implants are designed to have a smaller diameter than traditional implants, allowing them to be placed without the need for bone grafting. 

Advantages of Mini Implants:

Mini implants can be used as a temporary solution to secure a denture, while traditional endosteal implants are healing.  Since they are intended to be temporary, early loading that will lead to implant failure is acceptable as they are being used to simply span the time until the long-term implants can be engaged.  

Disadvantages of Mini Implants:

The main disadvantage of mini implants is that they may not offer the same longevity and stability as traditional implants. In many dental offices, mini implants are presented to patients and placed as a permanent option.  These implants fail at a high rate because of their small diameter and limited bone contact, and they also have a very high fracture rate. 

All-on-4 Implants

All-on-4 implants (Same-Day Implants) are a full arch implant solution. All-on-4 implants replace all of the teeth in one arch using four or more implants. This treatment is designed to provide a secure and stable foundation for a prosthetic tooth bridge, allowing patients to fully restore their lost teeth in one day. 

All-on-4 implants may be recommended in cases where a patient is missing all of their teeth or has severely damaged or decayed teeth that cannot be restored. They are also often recommended for patients who have suffered bone loss in their jaw due to periodontal disease, trauma, or other factors. They may be used if the patient has an existing denture and needs a more stable, permanent solution. 

During the procedure, the implants are placed strategically into the jawbone and fitted with a custom-made bridge designed to replace missing bone, gum, and tooth structure. All-on-4 implants can provide a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional dentures or bridges.

Advantages of All-on-4 Implants:

All-on-4 implants offer many advantages over traditional dentures or bridges, including improved stability, comfort, and aesthetics. They can be placed without additional surgery or tissue augmentation, making the process faster and more convenient. The implant-supported bridge is often described as a permanent solution; however, like natural teeth, they require proper care and maintenance and will experience natural wear over time. Finally, they provide an enhanced chewing ability compared to dentures.

Disadvantages of All-on-4 Implants:

The main disadvantage of all-on-4 implants is the cost. While they provide a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional dentures or bridges, they may not be an affordable option for all patients. Additionally, implant placement surgery can be more involved than other types of dental implant treatments, which could lead to a longer recovery period. All-on-4 implants may not be suitable for patients with certain medical conditions or jawbone irregularities.

Traditional Implant Procedure

The traditional implant process starts with a consultation with an oral surgeon to assess the patient’s oral health and determine if they are a suitable candidate for implants. During this appointment, the dentist will take X-rays of the mouth and discuss any medical conditions that need to be considered and if a bone graft is necessary.

Once the patient is determined to be a good candidate for implants, the next step is to surgically place the implant into the jawbone. Dental implant surgery can be done under sedation or under local anesthesia and requires an incision in the gum tissue that allows the dentist to access the underlying bone. Once the implant is in place, a healing period of several months is required for the jawbone to fully integrate with the implant post. After this process is complete, the replacement tooth, usually a dental crown or bridge, can be placed on top of the implant.

Dental Implants Mesa

Dental implants are a great option for replacing missing or severely damaged teeth. Many different types of dental implants are available, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Mini implants may be recommended as a temporary solution to secure an implant, whereas All-on-4 implants can provide a permanent and aesthetically pleasing solution for patients missing all of their teeth in one arch. Ultimately, the best type of implant will depend on each patient’s individual needs and preferences.

Contact AZ Max today to discuss your options if you are considering dental implants to replace missing or damaged teeth. With the help of experienced dental professionals, you can determine which type of implant is best for your needs and budget. 

If you are searching for the best oral surgeon near me, look no further! AZ Max Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have extensive experience in performing dental implant procedures. Our team of experienced surgeons is dedicated to providing the highest quality care and attention to every patient. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve a beautiful, natural-looking smile with dental implants! To schedule an appointment, call (480) 830-5866 or complete the online booking form. We have locations in Mesa, North Mesa, South Gilbert, Show Low, and Tempe, AZ.  

We look forward to helping you with all of your oral surgery needs!