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Do you get different types of oral implants?
As medicine continues to develop, people are getting used to seeing a myriad of different tools specialised for different conditions and sometimes even different patients. This has come about because of a reduction in the cost of design and fabrication, as well as flexibility in treatment protocols, allowing medicine to become more tailored to the individual. This leads many dental patients to ask if they can get different types of dental implants Herefordshire. When are they appropriate and for which patients? This article provides a brief overview of what kinds of implants are available and when they are used.
Generic implant – endosteal implant
This is the most common version of implant used in clinical practice. Defaulted to for the vast majority of healthy patients, the implant uses a rigid titanium peg as an artificial root. It is placed into the jawbone where it becomes osseointegrated in place, fusing with the living bone in much the same way as surgical pins or an artificial hip.
Niche oral implants
The criticality of jawbone density can cause a significant problem, as many of the patients who are exploring implantation are full-denture users. And one of the common complications of denture users is a decrease in both the density and volume of the upper and lower jawbones.
This alternative gets around the problem of jawbone density by using a far larger titanium foundation rather than a single peg. Subperiosteal implants are a mesh of titanium that lie on top of the jawbone. Installing such a structure involves opening a very large section of the gum and placing the mesh in direct contact with the bone. A similar process of osseointegration will occur, but it will only be required to stop the implant from slipping across the jaw rather than have to deal with twisting or vertical forces.
Zygomatic implants avoid the limitation of low bone density in the upper jaw by using the patient’s cheekbones as the primary anchoring site. These implants are similar in diameter to those used in endosteal procedures, but are a lot longer. Often implanted at an angle and used as the foundation for an immobilised denture, they’ve been very useful in older patients, but are limited to the upper jaw only.
Supporting a wide range of patients
There are several pre-implant procedures that can maximise the chances of successful implantation and allow marginal cases to gain access to treatment; these involve bone grafting, sinus lift and upper jaw modifications.
There is active research in the field of stimulating additional bone growth. This would involve mixing the techniques behind stimulated bone grafting with an implant itself, resulting in a single procedure where an implant was installed that encouraged the development of a thicker, stronger jaw around it.
One line of research focuses on the hormonal impact of bone density and explores the practicality of hormonally-impregnated implants that would affect the bone growth in their immediate vicinity.
As developments in 3D imaging from X-rays become more common and bespoke titanium fabrication like 3D titanium printing becomes more widespread, people can expect that implants will also become tailored to each individual patient.