There are four main types of dental implants. Zygomatic, subperiosteal, transosteal and endosteal. The type of procedure that’s best for you will depend on how many teeth you require, the condition of your jawbone and your general health.
Zygomatic implants. It’s a complex, highly specialised procedure that is only done when there’s not enough jawbone for other options. To do this, the implant, rather than going into the jaw, is inserted into the cheekbone of the patient.
Subperiosteal implants. These implants are not fixed into the jawbone. Instead, a metal frame is inserted under the gum and the posts are attached to that. The gum encloses around the frame as it heals, and the teeth are affixed to the poles. This method is not used frequently due to various limitations.
Transosteal implants are used only for the lower jaw and are not very common. It’s complicated surgery which requires a metal plate being attached to the jaw, with screws then being inserted through the jawbone. The implants are affixed to the metal plate.
Endosteal is the most common method, where posts, shaped like screws, are surgically implanted into the jaw. After the gum heals, the prosthetic tooth is placed on the post, creating a stable, strong tooth or set of teeth. Generally, there are two sizes of dental implants. Narrow ones, used in the front of the mouth, are between 3.5mm and 4.2mm in diameter. Wide platform implants are used in the back of the mouth and are from 4.5mm to 6mm in diameter.
This article focuses on Endosteal implants as these are the most common option and preferred in terms of outcomes and impact of surgery.