Just like there are various types of fillings or dental crowns, there are also different types of dental implants. Over the past several decades, overall implant designs have taken on a more holistic, streamlined shape that mimics the function and size of natural teeth. Their non-invasive concept helps to preserve remaining teeth. However, they come in a variety of different sizes and materials, depending on where they need to be placed in your smile.
For the most part, the three more common types of dental implants in Long Island include traditional, “mini”, and porcelain. Suffolk County implant dentists no longer use the more invasive designs that require extensive oral surgery. In fact, today’s implants can be placed with just a small amount of local anesthetic. You’ll be back to your normal routine in no time.
Traditional Types of Dental Implants
The best types of dental implants to choose are usually the traditional, titanium designs. Titanium is a hypoallergenic metal that’s safe for your body and naturally accepted by the tissues (including your bone) around it. In fact, it’s the material of choice when it comes to surgical joint replacements elsewhere in the body.
One unique characteristic of titanium is that it triggers an important process that we call “osseointegration”. This means that the surrounding bone senses the titanium, then forms smaller, new areas of calcium deposits and a thin layer of bone onto the implant, permanently fusing it into place. When fully integrated, it’s unlikely for the implant to ever fail (when cared for properly, of course.) That’s why titanium implants are expected to last for a lifetime.
An additional benefit of traditional implants is that the titanium is extremely durable. The titanium tooth replacement is essentially stronger than a healthy, natural tooth. That’s why our Suffolk County dentists are able to use these types of implants in pairs for multi-tooth restorative needs (including extended bridges and hybrid dentures.)
Ceramic/Porcelain Types of Dental Implants
Areas with gum recession (what some people call “long in the teeth”) can lead to exposed root surfaces and portions of a dental implant that aren’t covered with a crown. If you smile and the titanium implant or abutment shows, there will be visible darkness along the gumlines.
When we’re replacing missing teeth at the front of your smile, an exposed titanium implant could detract from the aesthetic results we want to achieve. In such instances, our Suffolk County implant dentists might recommend a ceramic implant instead of a titanium one. That is, if soft tissue therapy such as gum grafting is not an option.
Ceramic implants are a solid porcelain or zirconia unit, where the root portion of the implant and the abutment are one piece. This design allows for optimal aesthetics and no post-operative steps for additional abutment attachment. If any portion of the implant or abutment is exposed, you won’t see any grey or silver color in your mouth. Rather, only tooth colored ceramic will be what’s visible between the crown and gumline. Opting for this type of implant provides you with reassurance if aesthetics and receding gumlines are a significant concern.
“Mini” Dental Implants
Sometimes people are told things like “You don’t qualify for dental implants” or “There’s not enough room for a dental implant”. As a result, they become discouraged and assume dental implants aren’t something they can look into any further.
However, what those people might not know is that there’s a type of dental implant specifically designed for tight spaces. They’re called “mini” implants. As the name suggests, these implants are much smaller than traditional designs. They’re actually about one half the length and diameter of a conventional titanium implant.
Mini implants are best for areas with narrow bone ridges or where two teeth are too close together for a traditional implant and crown to fit. Since mini implants take up less space and don’t need as much bone to hold them in, they offer flexibility for non-traditional cases.
Electing to get mini dental implants may omit the need for additional procedures, like sinus lift surgery or bone grafting.
You can even elect to have mini dental implants installed to help secure your removable denture. As few as 2-4 implants total may be all that you need. Depending on the integrity of your prosthesis, it may be possible to retrofit your current denture to fit over new mini implants.
It’s important to note that because of their size, mini implants aren’t able to support as much weight as a traditional implant is capable of. They’re typically reserved for non-load-bearing teeth, which won’t take on as much force when you’re biting into or chewing food.
How to Select Your Implant Type
In most implant cases, traditional titanium types of dental implants are the design of choice. However, there will always be instances where non-traditional implant cases require special accommodations in order to make this modern restoration successful.
When you visit our Long Island dentists for a consultation, we’ll discuss the best type of implant for you and why. We have over 35 years of experience in dental implant therapy and smile design. If titanium implants are appropriate, we’ll guide you through the next steps to take. But if they aren’t, we’ll discuss types of implant alternatives such as tooth-colored ceramics, porcelain, or mini implant designs.
Choosing the Best Implant Dentist
For success in dental implant therapy, you’ll want to choose a dentist that offers the types of implants that are best for your smile. Everyone’s situation is different. Finding an experienced provider who has placed hundreds, or even thousands of dental implants can give you the confidence you need to finally take a step towards a healthier mouth.
At Sachem Dental Group, our multi-specialty general dentistry team provides in-house implant therapy right here at our Long Island private practice. There’s no need to visit a separate dentist or specialist across town. Enjoy a dental implant experience that’s comfortable, streamlined, and efficient as possible.
Contact us today to request your consultation to find out which type of dental implants are best for you!