Exploring The Different Types Of Dental Implants
When we think of a dental implant in Richmond per se, we usually imagine a titanium like rod that’s implanted into the jaw line, then fitted or ‘capped’ with a porcelain crown. Whilst this is indeed your archetypal implant, you may be surprised to know that this is only one type and in fact there are other types that can also be used. Let’s take a closer look.
Root form implants
This is undoubtedly the most widely used type and as stated, they consist of a titanium screw-like rod which is then fastened or screwed down into the jaw bone to create a secure platform. Generally speaking they’re fashioned to closely resemble the natural root of a tooth; however the screw-design can differ from one manufacturer to another.
Blade style implants
When the jawbone doesn’t have sufficient bone depth and mass to take a standard root form implant, then a blade variety can often be used. As the name suggests it has a small anchor or blade on the base of the implant and rather than be screwed in, it’s tapped into place. The implant itself is thinner than the root form variety and is often used on areas such as the back of the lower jaw.
This is the preferred implant of choice when large amounts of teeth and bone are lost and is ideal for endentulous type patients (those who have no teeth on either their upper or lower jaw). Consisting of a metal framework it sits on the bone but underneath the gum rather than being secured into it. Posts and bars remain exposed over the gum and the visible superstructure (partial or full denture) is then attached directly onto this.
Mini dental implants
Otherwise known as MDI’s they’re often used in areas where there is insufficient bone depth and mass for a standard implant to be fitted. They’re also ideal for gaps in difficult to reach places. MDI’s commonly use a less invasive procedure because they can be fitted without any complex flap surgery. Also the prosthetic crown can be placed within hours of the implant being fitted. As a result healing time is often reduced from months to days.
The main material of choice for the implant is medical grade titanium. It’s a tried and tested lightweight but durable metal that has many advantages including the ability to fuse with natural bone tissue. It’s also anti-corrosive and doesn’t normally cause a reaction when placed into the body. Many Subperiosteal implants are made from titanium as it’s easily cast in a laboratory setting, although titanium is also commonly used. Certain types of plastics are also being experimented with although they aren’t tried and tested. The idea is that they’re more flexible and of course cheaper to manufacture. Finally on rare occasions some implants are made from zirconium. This is used as an alternative to titanium, especially in those with very rare metal allergies.
So there you have it. Everything you need to know about the types of dental implant available! Most dental clinics will tend to stick with one or two tried and tested brands that they are familiar with although there is no evidence at all to suggest that one particular type/brand is better than the other, but it may pay you as part of your consultation process to ask the clinic which types they use.