Dental implants are a popular and effective tooth replacement option for people missing one or more of their natural teeth. Implants serve as artificial tooth roots and provide a stable, secure foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth. There are three main types of dental implants: endosteal, subperiosteal, and zygomatic, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Endosteal implants, also known as dental implants, are the most frequently used type of implant, accounting for more than 90% of all implant procedures. As the name suggests, they are embedded directly into the jawbone (endosteum).
The basic parts of an endosteal implant include the implant body (the artificial root), an abutment (the connector), and a crown (the visible tooth portion).
Endosteal implants have the highest long-term success rate at over 95%. They work very well when a person has healthy jawbone with sufficient width and density.
With proper care, endosteal dental implants can last over 20 years.
Subperiosteal dental implants consist of a metal frame placed under the gum and above the jawbone. As the name indicates, the structure lies below the periosteum (the membrane covering the bone). They were designed specifically for patients who do not qualify for endosteal implants due to severe bone loss in the upper jaw.
The custom-made metal framework fits over the bone to ensure stability. After placement, the gums heal around these implants to hold them firmly in place. Artificial teeth are then mounted to posts extending above the gums.
While not used as commonly today due to advanced bone grafting techniques, subperiosteal implants still serve an important purpose for select patients and represent roughly 5% of all implant procedures.
Zygomatic Implants - For Patients With Severe Bone Atrophy
Zygomatic implants, also known as zygoma implants, were specifically designed for patients with severe bone atrophy in the upper jaw. “Zygoma” refers to the cheekbone region, and these exceptionally long implants anchor into and through this dense facial bone for stability.
A zygomatic implant emerges from the maxillary posterior region (upper jaw) and extends into the zygomatic bone (cheekbone). The threaded tip then returns back into the maxillary bone for strength. Traditional implants placed into site extensions just wouldn’t be stable enough.
For patients with severe bone deterioration in the upper jaw, zygomatic dental implants can provide a life-changing solution when other options fail.
While technological advances have greatly improved the long-term prognosis of all three main dental implant types, success ultimately relies on various patient, procedural, and restoration factors.
Some considerations influencing outcomes include:
Careful treatment planning, excellent oral health and hygiene habits, regular dental visits and following all post-procedure instructions help to ensure many years of a healthy, happy smile.
For patients struggling with missing teeth, dental implants offer an effective and predictable permanent solution. The three main options - endosteal, subperiosteal and zygomatic implants - all have excellent long-term prognosis when properly placed and cared for.
Factors like the location and amount of bone loss and overall health conditions play important roles in selecting the best type to meet individual needs. With ongoing professional care and good oral home care, dental implants provide an excellent way to restore form, function and smile confidence.