Different Types of Dental Implants
When most patients think of having a dental implant placed by their Santa Clara dental implant specialist, they imagine a metal post topped with a crown or bridge. Although that is essentially what a basic dental implant is, there are many different types of dental implants. Each is designed to anchor a crown or bridge in a specific situation, such as a thin place on the jaw or on the back of the jaw to replace a molar. Your Santa Clara dentist can help you decide which type of implant is best for you.
The most typical form of dental implant is called a root-form implant. Root form implants feature a cylindrical post, much like your natural tooth root. These implants are best suited for areas of the jaw bone that are wide and deep. These implants are placed into the jaw bone, and then allowed to heal for three to six months. During that time, the jaw bone knits securely over the implant, forming a solid base for a crown or bridge.
Areas of the jaw that are too narrow for a root form implant and that are not suitable for a bone graft may require a plate form implant. These implants are flat instead of cylindrical, allowing them to fit into narrower places on the jaw bone. Like root form implants, these implants require a healing period before the implant can be placed.
Finally, subperiosteal implants are ideal for areas of the jaw that cannot accept an implant because of its thinness. Subperiosteal implants sit on top of the jaw bone below the gum line. Because these implants do not require penetration of the bones, they heal more quickly.