If you’re missing any teeth, dental implants are the best option for tooth replacement. A dental implant is a small titanium or zirconia post (screw) that we surgically attach to your jawbone so that it functions like a natural tooth. The dental implant fuses to your jawbone for a stable foundation that’s every bit as functional as the real thing. Dental implant surgery may sound intimidating, but nowadays it’s a fairly common and fairly simple procedure that is drastically less painful than it used to be.
Sometimes dental implants are done for purely cosmetic reasons — other times they’re functional/restorative. Whatever the case, they are a big investment worth considering carefully. When it comes to dental implant surgery, it pays to do your research.
If you need a tooth replacement, you’re probably wondering what are the best dental implants for you? Let’s take a look at all the available options for dental implants.
Endosteal Dental Implants
Also known as endosseous implants, endosteal dental implants are by far our most popular dental implant. This is the type of implant that is surgically placed into your jawbone. These are the best options for dental implants for most patients. The only drawback is they require a good, healthy jawbone for the post to fuse to. So if you have severe gum disease or are elderly, this option might not be for you.
There is some healing time required. The implant and your jawbone must have time to fuse together and heal. Then an artificial tooth can be screwed onto the post so it fits in with your surrounding teeth. We’ll be careful to be sure the new tooth matches the color of the surrounding teeth so everything looks natural. Once patients heal from this particular dental implant surgery, many forget they even have had a tooth replacement.
Subperiosteal Dental Implants
Subperiosteal implants are likely your best alternative to endosteal dental implants. They are a great solution if you don’t have much jawbone to work with and a teeth bone graft won’t do the trick. Instead of being screwed into the jawbone, these implants instead rest on top of the bone but still under the gum. A metal frame is placed under the gum and attached to a post. The gum will heal around the post to hold it in place. Subperiosteal dental implants look natural as well, but don’t have the same structural integrity as endosteal dental implants since they don’t fuse to the jaw.
Zygomatic Dental Implants
Zygomatic implants are rare, and are intended to replace the teeth in the upper jaw. They require a complicated and invasive procedure that should only be done if you are not a good fit for endosseous implants or subperiosteal implants. Zygomatic dental implants are placed in your cheekbone rather than your jawbone, since your cheekbone (zygomatic bone) is much denser than your deteriorated jawbone. Because of the density of the cheek bone, this type of tooth replacement can be a same day dental implant, as you don’t have to wait for the bone to heal around the screw before attaching the replacement teeth.
Zirconia Dental Implants
Zirconia dental implants are noted not by their implant method but by the material they are made from. These implants are an alternative to titanium implants that are the industry standard. Invented in 1987, zirconia implants are made from zirconia. Since zirconia is technically a ceramic, many consider this type of implant a more holistic tooth replacement.
Zirconia is a ceramic consisting of the elements Zirconium and Oxygen (1 atom of Zirconium & 2 atoms of Oxygen). It is considered a transitional metal with an atomic number of 40. Zirconia dental implants contain the metallic atoms of Zirconium, but are not considered to be a metal because of its metal oxide structure (ZrO2). The additional oxide changes its composition structure, behavior, and name. It is the best dental implant for those who might be allergic to metal.
The catch is that titanium implants have a higher success rate at 97%. And since they were only invented in 1987, Zirconium implants haven’t been around relatively long, so we don’t truly know their long lasting effects. But these implants are great for soft-tissue response and biocompatibility.
Same Day Dental Implants
Thanks to modern technology, same day dental implants are possible — providing you have a healthy jawbone and your dental health meets certain conditions. The beauty of having dental implants done on the same day is it minimizes your time in the chair, as well as cuts down the number of trips you need to make to our office. This is especially convenient if you are coming some distance to see us, say if you live in Columbus, Cincinnati, or Dayton.
Finding the Best Dental Implant Dentist for the Job
Dental implants can be a challenging oral surgery. It helps if you work with an oral surgeon best suited for the job — someone who can do all kinds of dental implants, including the more difficult types. This is especially true if you have problems with a deteriorating jawbone and may need additional procedures done such as dental bone grafting in order to ensure a successful dental implant surgery. Dr. Puckett specializes in dental implant surgeries, including ones that require bone and/or soft tissue grafting.