30th May 2024

All About the Different Types of Dental Implants

All About the Different Types of Dental Implants

Losing a tooth, or even multiple teeth, can have a serious impact on your daily life. Not only does it affect the way your smile looks and lowers your self-esteem, but gaps from missing teeth can also impact the way you eat and speak.

When a tooth is lost, that area of the jawbone is no longer stimulated by biting or chewing, leading to a gradual loss of bone density and a sunken facial appearance. The best way to address this problem and fully restore missing teeth is with dental implants, which replace the root as well as the visible part of the tooth.

This permanent solution is preferable to traditional false teeth, as a titanium post anchored in the jaw secures the crown above the gum – achieving a realistic replacement that allows patients to talk, smile, and eat with confidence again.

While they offer the best long-term solution for replacing lost teeth, getting dental implants is a big decision. With several different types of dental implants to choose from, it’s important to undergo the right procedure for your dental needs.

So, which type of dental implant is right for you? Read on to learn more about the different types available and how to find out which procedure you should choose.

 

Partial Smile Restoration

It’s not uncommon for adults to have at least one missing tooth, with 16% of adults in the UK reporting that they have less than 21 natural teeth – the minimum required for functional dentition – compared to the average number of 25.4 teeth.

If you have a few missing teeth, these are the solutions that your dentist may offer:

 

Single-Tooth Dental Implant

Even if you only have one missing tooth, depending on the location of the gap, it can still have a significant impact on your jawbone density, appearance, and ability to chew.

Previously, the solution would be to grind down the teeth on either side of the gap and apply a bridge, with crowns on the neighbouring teeth and a false tooth in the middle.

Rather than damaging the remaining teeth, you can now replace a single missing tooth with an individual dental implant. This is exactly what it sounds like: a single post installed in the jaw with an abutment on top, and a crown on top of the abutment.

This is ideal if you have just one tooth impacted by trauma or decay, which has either been knocked out or is so damaged that it cannot be saved and must be extracted.

 

Multiple Single-Tooth Implants

Similarly, if you have lost a few teeth throughout your mouth in different places, this would require replacing each tooth individually with a single dental implant.

Traditional bridges may not be possible where the missing teeth aren’t adjacent to each other, or aren’t part of the same arch, so individual implants may be your only option.

However, the price per tooth and individual procedures may not be the most cost-effective or time-efficient. It could be possible to have multiple individual dental implants fitted at the same time, but this would depend on your dental condition.

In cases where there are two or more missing teeth in a row, it’s far more practical to opt for an implant-supported bridge instead of paying separately for individual implants.

 

Implant-Supported Bridges

In a traditional bridge, two crowns sit on top of prepared natural teeth, supporting a pontic (artificial tooth) in the middle that looks real but only sits on top of the gum.

As the replacement tooth has no root, it can’t restore bone density, but an implant-supported bridge can maintain bone density without damaging the remaining teeth.

When there are two to three or more missing teeth in a row, implants can be used at either end, forming anchors for the bridge to attach to and fill in the gap. In this instance, every replacement tooth won’t need its own implant, saving you money.

While the teeth in the middle won’t have roots, the implants at either end can still help to stimulate the jaw and distribute pressure evenly across the bridge when eating.

 

Full Mouth Dental Implants

In the UK, the majority of people over 16 years old have at least some natural teeth, with those over 75 years old having the lowest average of 19 teeth. However, 5% of people are edentate – meaning they have no natural teeth left at all. 

Wherever you fall on this spectrum, here’s how you could replace a full arch of teeth:

 

Implant-Retained Dentures

A denture is an arch of artificial teeth that typically fits over the gum and requires an adhesive to stay in place – though dentures can easily come loose and fall out.

If the patient has lost a full arch of teeth but still has sufficient bone density, they could opt for implant-retained dentures that are much more comfortable and secure.

Sometimes known as ‘snap-on dentures’ or ‘clip-in dentures’, this system uses different types of fastenings to attach to implants anchored in the jaw and fix the overdenture in place. This cost-effective method makes eating and speaking much easier.

The implant-supported dentures can be removable, so the patient can clean them, or fixed, so they can only be removed for cleaning and maintenance by a qualified dentist.

 

All-on-Four Dental Implants

Should you want a more permanent and secure solution to mass tooth loss than a bridge or denture, all-on-four implants can offer a true full-mouth restoration.

As the name implies, this procedure uses four dental implants anchored in the jawbone to secure a full arch of false teeth, supporting them all on four replacement tooth roots.

In some cases, this can be all-on-six, using six implants if the jaw requires more support for the arch. In either situation, this treatment can be used for the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both, and can often be completed in one day as ‘smile in a day’ dental implants.

These full-mouth dental implants have many advantages, not least restoring a natural-looking smile and functional bite, but they do require sufficient jawbone density.

 

Zygomatic Dental Implants

When up to a full arch of teeth is lost, the body will begin to reabsorb the bone from the parts of the jaw that are no longer being stimulated – in a process known as resorption.

If the jaw begins to atrophy, this can compromise the structure of the face. However, even with less bone to work with, zygomatic implants can restore the upper arch.

In cases where the patient doesn’t have enough bone for an all-on-four or all-on-six restoration, and a bone graft or sinus lift isn’t possible or desirable, these longer implant roots can be inserted into the zygoma (cheekbones) at an angle instead.

This dental implant system has a high success rate and can also be completed in just one day when the zygomatic implants are placed by a specialist maxillofacial surgeon.

 

Dental Implant Consultations

Now you know more about the different types of dental implants available, but do you have a better idea of which system would be best for your unique dental situation?

The only way to find out which options would provide the best results is to book a dental implant consultation and have your teeth and jaws assessed by a qualified dentist.

Here at Dental Solutions, we can provide a variety of dental implants to help patients replace any number of missing teeth. Come to us and we’ll gladly talk you through the most suitable smile restoration and payment options for your personal needs.

Call us on 01925 756 565 or email your query to [email protected] and we’ll confirm an appointment for a time and date that’s convenient for you.

 

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Based on 287 reviews
Michael Sparke
Michael Sparke
2024-05-17
Initially I was quite apprehensive about having 2 implants, but upon my consultation with Gavin ., i felt encouraged by his knowledge and advice . The whole experience in a very relaxed atmosphere could not have been any better. I am well impressed by their professionalism and expertise in this Practice and would most certainly give them a Top Class recommendation .
Kay Burton
Kay Burton
2024-05-15
I just had my implant fitted today, the whole process was painless, I'm so pleased with everything and would highly recommend Dental solutions, the whole team was fabulous 👌
Mike White
Mike White
2024-01-29
The best experience. When you step through the door you are met by the friendliest receptionist,Which continues through the practice. If you want the best dental care and treatments across the board this is where you need to go.
Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell
2023-12-15
I came to dental solutions with severe anxiety of dentists and Lauren was so helpful, kind and patient with me. For the first time in years I've found a dentist who I feel comfortable with. Thank you
Gill S
Gill S
2023-10-27
I had a wisdom tooth extracted by Gavin after having toothache due to my tooth breaking. I was nervous as I had not had a tooth removed by injection before. Gavin was reassuring, explained the procedure fully and it was over quickly with no pain. All staff at the practice are caring, friendly and professional and I have been going for many years. I highly recommend Dental Solutions.
K.WEDGE
K.WEDGE
2023-09-06
Thank you to Gavin and team at Dental Solutions for the superb dental work done yesterday. As well as being highly professional and very good at what they do the place has a great atmosphere which makes going to the dentist a pleasure.
tracy grensinger
tracy grensinger
2023-07-02
Amazing experience. I felt in safe friendly professional hands with all the team . Thank you!
Zoe Manley
Zoe Manley
2023-06-30
Can’t speak highly enough of this practice and in particular Lauren. 2 years ago I walked in and was so nervous I cried just as the sight of the chair. Her and the staff have been so patient and understanding and have worked with me to overcome my phobia. This week I had a filling and was absolutely fine, my family couldn’t believe it. Reception staff are lovely and really accommodating too. So glad I found them, I don’t dread the dentist anymore.
David Partridge
David Partridge
2023-05-10
A really Five Star Dental Practice! Upon arrival I was greeted by their most friendly welcoming receptionists. it seems nothing is 'too much trouble' to them. Gavin is similarly very friendly and the surgery is kitted out with the most high-tech modern equipment. On my first visit Gavin examined my teeth and explained my options to me giving me his recommendation for treatment and reasons why. Their Co-ordinator prepared a detailed quote for my treatment and went through it in detail with me, ensuring I understood everything; she had plenty of time for me as a patient. From the outset I had complete confidence in entrusting them with my dental care and the final results are truly amazing. Gavin and Richard could not have been more professional and my treatment was made as painless as possible. Dental Solutions provide a truly outstanding service and I thank them for my new 'long lost' smile and renewed confidence, especially when dining out and talking with people. I can't recommend them too highly.
Carole Dodwell
Carole Dodwell
2023-05-08
A first class experience from start to finish. Despite being fearful of visiting the dentist, Gavin put me at ease with his gentle unhurried manner. I was surprised at how relaxed I actually felt undergoing treatment for a crown and the removal/replacement of front teeth veneers. Having felt self conscious about my front teeth for a long time, I decided to have my old veneers replaced. The results were amazing and far exceeded my expectations. What Gavin achieved was nothing short of a work of art, boosting my confidence tenfold. The practice itself is very welcoming, the customer service excellent and the staff are all very friendly and kind. I cannot recommend this dental practise highly enough.
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