2 Dental Implant Options For Special Circumstances

Losing a tooth or teeth due to decay or trauma can create bite problems and affect your self-esteem. A dental implant can offer a stable, natural-feeling dental replacement option. The choice and success of a dental implant hinges on finding the right type of implant for your particular dental situation.

A traditional endosteal implant requires a strong, moderate width jawbone so that a metal root can be inserted into the bone. The bone will heal around the root in a process called oseointegration so that the root can't wiggle or fall out. The various steps and healing times make an implant one of the more time-intensive dental treatments available.

Do you have a special circumstance that doesn't meet the process described for dental implants? An alternative implant option might be available to meet your needs.

No Time: Immediate Load Implant

Do you need the implant process, including healing done as quickly as possible? A rush order might be necessary due to life or work commitments that won't allow you to keep the numerous dental appointments involved with traditional dental implants. But you might be a candidate for immediate load implants.

A traditional implant involves first placing the root, allowing that to heal, attaching a post to the root, allowing that to heal, and then snapping an artificial tooth to the post. An immediate load implant involves the dentist putting all of the parts into your mouth at one time.

You will still need a couple of office visits so that the dentist can get the scans needed to craft your artificial tooth. And you will need to stick to softer foods for a period of time until the tooth root fuses with the bone. Immediate loading also isn't an option for teeth that take a lot of the bite pressure such as your molars.

Inadequate Bone: Graft or Subperiosteal Implant

If you've lost some of your jawbone to decay, or simply have a natural spot of weaker bone, then the dentist might recommend a bone graft ahead of the dental implant. The dentist will remove a portion of bone from elsewhere in your mouth and insert it into the weakened area. Your gums will be stitched shut and you will have a healing period until the new bone fuses with the old bone. Then the endosteal implant can proceed as usual.

Don't want to undergo a graft? Is your jawbone too narrow or shallow for an endosteal implant? A subperiosteal implant might be right for you. Instead of using a jaw-embedded root, the subperiosteal implant has a metal plate that fits over your jawbone but under the gums. The plate already has the post on it so once the gums heal, the artificial tooth can be attached to the post. To learn more about dental implants, speak with someone like OraCare Dental.