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Types of Dental Implants


More than 60 companies manufacturer dental implants and/or the materials used to create the restorations placed on top of them. As a result, dentists have many options for identifying the right treatment for specific patient needs. However, be aware that if you undergo an implant procedure by one dentist, then see a different dentist for a repair, your new dentist may have limited experience with, or may not have access to, the material components used by the previous dentist.

Dental implants usually are categorized based on the type of procedure used to place them: two-stage or single stage.

Two-Stage Implants: A two-stage procedure involves surgery to place the implant into the jaw bone and close (stitch) the gum tissue. Several months after healing, a minor surgery is performed to attach an abutment and temporary restoration.

Endosteal (Endosseous) Implants: Placed in the jaw bone, endosteals are the most commonly used type for two-stage implant procedures. Placed primarily as an alternative to a bridge or removable denture, endosteal implants include screw types (threaded), cylinder types (smooth) or bladed types.

Single-Stage Dental Implants: A single-stage procedure involves surgically placing a longer implant into the jaw so it is on the jaw bone, with the top level with the gum tissue, after which the gum tissue is closed (stitched), leaving the implant head visible. As a result, after several months of healing, the abutment and temporary restoration can be attached without the need for minor surgery to expose the head.

Subperiosteal Implants: Placed on the jaw bone within the gum tissue, with the metal implant post exposed to hold the restoration, subperiosteals are the most commonly used type for single-stage dental implant procedures. Subperiosteals are primarily used to hold dentures in place in patients with insufficient bone height.

Coatings Types

Although most dental implants are made of titanium, the surface — which affects the long-term integration and stability of treatment — can vary. A porous surface contributes to more bone contact than a machined titanium surface. Other surfaces include a grit-blasted or acid-etched and roughened surface, a microgrooved or plasma-sprayed titanium surface, and a plasma-sprayed hydroxyapatite coating.

Connector Types

Implants also may be categorized based on the shape/type of their head. All implants require the restoration and abutment to be attached or screwed to the head. For this purpose, there are three main connector types:

Internal Hex Connectors: Shaped like a hexagon, an internal hex connector is an opening in the implant head into which the restoration/abutment is screwed.

External Hex Connectors: Also shaped like a hexagon, these connectors are atop the implant head.

Internal Octagon Connectors: Shaped like an octagon, an internal octagon connector has an opening in the implant head into which the restoration/abutment is screwed.

Implant Sizes

Another way to categorize implants is based on their size (also called platform), which dictates where they generally can be placed in the mouth. However, every case is different, and individual spacing and bone availability needs may dictate the use of a different size.

Standard Platform: Standard dental implants range in size from 3.5 mm to 4.2 mm in diameter. These comparatively shorter and narrower implants are most commonly placed toward the front of the mouth.

Wide Platform: Wide platform dental implants range in size from 4.5 mm to 6 mm in diameter and are placed primarily in the back of the mouth.

Mini or Narrow Body: Mini or narrow body dental implants range in size from 2 mm to 3.5 mm in diameter and are placed primarily in patients with insufficient space between their tooth roots to accommodate a larger size. They also may be placed when the patient has insufficient bone density.





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    Dr. Ivory Hancock

    Washington, DC 20036
    (202) 737-7025

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    Kenneth A Ingber, DMD

    Washington, DC 20006
    (202) 331-7474

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    Dr. Scott Shalit

    Garnet Valley, PA 19060
    (610) 459-5859

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    Dr. Lance Panarello

    Aston, PA 19014
    (484) 498-2132

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    Dr. Dan David

    Phoenixville, PA 19460
    (610) 935-1015