Whether you have full or partial dentures or are just missing teeth and have no replacement teeth, dental implants may be an option for you. As a means of attaching natural-looking teeth directly to the jaw, dental implants can replace one or more teeth, provide support for a bridge, or be used to attach a full denture for either retention or support.
At this time, there are two types of dental implants that are considered safe and effective by the American Dental Association. These are endosteal and subperiosteal dental implants.
To determine which type of dental implant to use, our practice first looks at the patient's jawbone. The jawbone must be able to support the dental implants, and both the quantity and the quality of bone must be taken into consideration.
Endosteal implants act like a metal "root" and are implanted directly into the jawbone. When the jawbone is thick, a cylindrical endosteal implant is used. When the jawbone is thin, a slender, plate-type dental implant is recommended.
Unlike an endosteal implant, subperiosteal implantation does not go directly into the jawbone. Instead, a metal framework is inserted onto the jawbone and under the gum tissue. This approach is used when the jawbone has an inadequate amount of bone available for endosteal implantation.
Patients who are candidates for subperiosteal implants usually have been lacking some or all of their teeth for several years and there is not enough bone to support their denture. When there is so little bone remaining to support a denture, it is especially true with lower dentures, that the denture wearer experiences pain and has difficulty to the extent that many of such denture wearers are dental cripples.
The jawbone itself can also be changed or augmented to create a foundation for the dental implant or implants needed by the patient. To a great extent, the choice of removable or non-removable replacement teeth by the patient will dictate the kind of dental implants used; and the type of dental implant, in turn, is usually the determining factor regarding whether or not augmentation of the jawbone is necessary.
A thorough dental evaluation including a clinical examination of your teeth, radiography (x-rays) and a complete medical history is required to determine if you would be a good candidate for dental implants.
For more information and information on other dental topics visit DrTav.com or call us at 973-761-5090.