If you are an adult who has missing teeth, during the last few years you may have come across the idea of the restorative and cosmetic procedure known as an oral implant.
Affixed to your jaw and fusing over around 3 to 6 months, oral implants can help you return the strength of your bite and also help you with gripping food without the use of dental adhesives.
The implants themselves are made from titanium and depending on how many teeth you are having restored, you may require anywhere up to 8 implants to be fitted in your mouth. While this all sounds relatively simple, when you are opting to have an endosteal implant fitted, there are some exclusion criteria which can make you unsuitable for this common implant type. And so, you may need to learn a little bit more about the other options that are available on the market today.
Without further ado, here is a very brief guide to the four most commonly used types of dental implants Melbourne.
An endosteal implant is the most commonly used option and is one that is suitable for people who have a healthy jawbone that is not succumbing to any signs of disease or degeneration. This implant is made from titanium and is fitted to the jaw via a very simple surgery. It will take around 3 to 6 months to fuse to the jaw, and can support up to 5 prosthetic teeth, but it is commonly used as part of single tooth restoration.
If you have lost a lot of jawbone potentially due to age or disease, then you will likely be suitable to have a subperiosteal implant fitted. Interestingly, this option does not involve drilling into the jaw and fusing per se. Instead, it will involve your dental team making some very precise incisions and lifting your gum off the jawbone. After this, a fitted metal frame is placed over the jaw and this will have protruding metal posts, which will act as the anchor points for the prosthetic teeth.
Your gum will be sewn back together and, as soon as the gum line has healed in around 2 to 4 weeks, you can have the prosthetic teeth attached.
If you are looking to have implants fitted on your upper jaw but have lost a lot of bone, then your dentist may suggest zygomatic implants. These implants are three times longer than standard endosteal implants and, as the name suggests, they are fitted to the zygoma bone rather than the jaw itself. So a hole will need to be drilled through your jaw and into your cheekbone, which is where this implant will fuse. The fitting time itself will be longer and the fusing time for a zygomatic implant takes on average 7 to 9 months.
Mini implants are also ideal if you are having a single tooth restored and do not have a lot of jawbone to support an endosteal implant. They are in essence miniature versions of the endosteal option and are also a lot thinner, but surgery will still be required to fit them, it will just not be as invasive. Because of their smaller size, they take less time to fuse, but they are also a little bit weaker and cannot support as many prosthetic teeth as an endosteal implant can. So, they are only suitable for supporting a maximum of 2 prosthetic teeth at a time.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.