A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth root that is surgically placed into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth or teeth. It fuses with the bone and acts just like a natural tooth, creating extremely lifelike results that are virtually indistinguishable from other teeth.
The size of the implant (also called platform) is determined by a variety of factors, including the condition of the gums, bone tissue and individual spacing needs. In addition, the type of surface (a porous or machined titanium) and whether a restoration (such as a crown) is attached to the implant are also important considerations.
Wide Platform: Generally considered to be a more conservative approach, wide platform implants range in diameter from 4.5 mm to 6 mm and are placed in the back of the mouth primarily. They are commonly used in cases where the patient does not have sufficient space between the tooth roots to accommodate a larger implant.
Mini or Narrow Body: Also considered to be a more conservative approach, mini or narrow body implants range in size from 2 mm to 3.5 mm and are often placed in patients with insufficient bone density to support a conventional implant. They may be used as a temporary anchor while the final conventional dental implants are osseointegrating.
Internal Hex Connectors: Shaped like a hexagon, internal hex connectors have an opening in the implant head into which the restoration/abutment is screwed.
External Hex Connectors: Similar to internal hex connectors, external hex connectors have an opening on the top of the implant head into which the restoration/abutment can be screwed.
Subperiosteal Implants: Historically, these were placed on the bone within the gum tissue with the metal implant post exposed to hold the restoration. Today, however, this procedure is rarely, if ever used as it requires a significant amount of surgery and time to heal before the abutment and restoration can be securely attached.
Single-Stage Dental Implants: A less invasive alternative to subperiosteal implants, these can be placed in one stage of treatment that leaves the healing cap on the implant intact so that the abutment and restoration can be easily attached after several months of healing.
If a permanent restoration is not required immediately after the implant placement, some dentists opt to use a temporary crown. This is usually done to allow the patient to eat and drink normally and avoid complications from the underlying implant until the restoration is ready to be placed.
Once the temporary crown has healed, it is removed and the implant will be placed with a final restoration. The restoration will be made from high-grade materials that have the look, feel and function of a real tooth.
The restoration will be attached to the implant abutment with a fixation screw, and the abutment will extend into the gums. In some cases, the abutment can be made of stainless steel, gold or porcelain.
Because implants are anchored to the jawbone, they require regular dental checkups and good oral hygiene. For best dental clinic in Florida, visit Go2Dental in Sarasota. They can last a lifetime with proper care, but chronic conditions and habits that impact the health of the gums, teeth and bones can prevent their success and lead to premature failure of the implant. For these reasons, we encourage all of our patients to maintain a healthy diet and practice regular oral hygiene.