Dental implants are a popular replacement option for missing teeth due to the combination of stability and natural appearance. The traditional type of dental implant involves metal roots that are inserted into the jawbone from above. The jawbone heals around the root to hold things securely in place, and then a dental crown is snapped to the top. But the traditional implant type isn't right for every patient, and your cosmetic dentistry specialist might instead recommend an alternative: transosteal dental implants.
Transosteal implants involve a metal root inserted into the jawbone from below the chin. The bone still heals the root in place, and the crown still snaps on top, but the placement method for the root can make this the best or worst dental implant type depending on a particular patient's needs.
Here are a few qualities that can make a patient a good match for transosteal dental implants.
Patient has Missing Lower Tooth
Transosteal implants are only an option for missing teeth on your lower jaw due to the fact that the root needs to be inserted from underneath. You can't go through the upper jawbone from its underside, which would actually be the top, because your face and sinus cavity are in the way.
So if you have a missing tooth on the upper jaw, you can't go the transosteal implant route. But a missing lower tooth can possibly be replaced with this type of implant – if you also meet other qualifications.
Patient Doesn't Want to Undergo Bone Graft or Has Narrow Jawbone Ridge
Transosteal implants are obviously only considered if a patient isn't a contender for traditional dental implants. If you don't qualify for traditional implants due to weak jawbone density, you could undergo a graft procedure where donor bone is implanted into weak spots and allowed to heal into one piece. The graft could leave your jawbone healthy enough to support traditional implants.
But the graft procedure requires some waiting time as the pieces of bone heal and fuse together. The traditional implant roots then require another period of healing as the bone fuses around the root. So you could end up with quite a lengthy treatment process, and not every patient wants to wait that long or go through that much healing.
Subperiosteal implants can become an option if you have less dense bone and don't want a bone graft. The subperiosteal implants have a metal plate that sits over the jawbone and is then held into place by healed gum tissue, which heals faster than bone. But these implants are only an option if you have a wide enough jawbone ridge to support the implant base.
For more information, contact Advanced Dentistry of St. Charles or a similar location.