Roughly 120 million people in the US have lost at least one tooth. Cosmetic dental implants are one of the best solutions for tooth loss because it’s as close as you can get to a natural tooth.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth restoration that replaces missing teeth and strengthens the jaw bone. Technically, a dental implant is considered a cosmetic procedure, but there are legitimate medical reasons to get them beyond just appearance. Some insurance companies will even cover them, depending on the quality of your plan.
The dental implant is surgically drilled into your jawbone so the artificial tooth becomes part of your mouth. It works just as well as your natural tooth. Unlike dentures, a dental implant is never removed.
The 3 Parts of Cosmetic Dental Implants
There are 3 distinct parts of a dental implant: the crown, the abutment, and the fixture.
The crown is the white part of the artificial tooth, typically made of porcelain or out of a combination of porcelain with metal or porcelain or zirconia. We offer the option of zirconium dental implants in which the entire tooth is made of zirconia.
The abutment is typically made of titanium or white zirconia. It’s the piece that connects the crown with the implant fixture, held in place with a screw.
The fixture is the part that surgically attaches the implant to the jawbone. It’s usually made of titanium.
Here are the 4 types of cosmetic dental implants.
Single Stage Dental Implant
As the name implies, single stage dental implants can usually be completed in a single session. It’s a procedure Dr. Puckett is quite fond of because it gets you in and out quickly with less hassle. We first place a longer implant into your jaw so it’s on the jaw bone, with the top of the implant level with the gum tissue. We then stitch and close the gum tissue with the head of the implant still visible. Months later into the healing process, we attach the implant to the exposed head without the need for additional surgery.
Two-Stage Dental Implant
The two-stage dental implant requires two surgical procedures to set in place. The first places the implant into the jaw bone, which is then stitched shut. Once that has healed after several months, we do a second surgery to expose the implant and attach a dental implant abutment and temporary restoration.
Endosteal Dental Implant
Endosteal dental implants are shaped like small screws, cylinders, plates, or blades. These implants are used as alternatives to a bridge or a removable denture. It covers the replacement of more than one tooth.
Subperiosteal Dental Implant
Subperiosteal dental implants are used to hold dentures in place for patients that don’t have adequate bone height.