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What Are Dental Implants?

With approximately one in four Americans suffering from severe tooth decay, extractions have become an increasingly common procedure. As more people lose teeth, dental implants have risen in popularity as a good alternative to restoring a picture-perfect smile. However, a large percentage of individuals are unsure of dental implants and their types. 

A dental implant generally consists of a metal post which is installed in the jawbone underneath the gum where a tooth has been extracted. Once the post has been fitted, a replacement tooth or bridge will be placed in the area with the missing tooth. 

One of the most significant benefits of dental implants is their permanent nature. Unlike conventional dentures, a dental implant will not move once it has been fitted. To find out whether or not you qualify for this procedure it is best to consult with your dentist.

Types of dental implants

When you decide to have dental implants fitted there are a variety of options to choose from and the main types include the subperiosteal and endosteal implants. 

A subperiosteal implant is placed above the jawbone under the gum. The implant post will be left exposed above the gum to allow the replacement tooth to be fitted with ease. Although this is a fairly uncommon choice for most people seeking dental implants, it is a good option for individuals with sufficient bone height.

The Endosteal implant is the most commonly used in the dental industry. It consists of threaded screws that are placed in the jaw. The gum is then closed over the post and left to heal before a replacement tooth is added to the post. 

Once you have decided on the type of implant you would like fitted you will also need to decide on a coating for the posts. Although titanium is the most common, there are other options available which include zirconia, micro-grooved, grit blasted and roughened, plasma-sprayed hydroxyapatite, acid etched and roughened, or plasma-sprayed titanium coatings.