If you suffer from tooth loss, dental implants can restore the function and appearance of your smile. Dental implants are an alternative to bridges and dentures. Endosteal implants are the most common variety of dental implants, but for many patients, subperiosteal implants are a better option. Here are four facts you should know if your dentist has recommended subperiosteal implants to you:
1. Your subperiosteal implants will be attached to the top of your jawbone.
Subperiosteal implants are attached to your jawbone. They are held in place by your gums. Like endosteal implants, these implants feature rods that will be used to attach prosthetic teeth. The placement of subperiosteal implants makes them uniquely suited to people with smaller jawbones or less bone density.
2. You will need to return for two procedures.
Like endosteal implants, subperiosteal implants are placed using two separate procedures. Your dentist will first need to take a mold of your bone, which will allow a custom implant to be created for you. To make this mold, your dentist will carefully cut open your gums. Afterward, your gums will be closed and allowed to heal while your implant is fabricated. Once the implant is ready, your dentist will open your gums one more time to fit and attach your subperiosteal implant.
3. You will experience a shorter recovery period.
Your dentist will not need to drill into your jawbone when placing your subperiosteal implants. Only the soft tissue of your gums will be impacted by this implant method. Soft tissue heals much faster than bone does, so your mouth will fully heal in a matter of weeks instead of months. This is excellent news for anyone concerned about developing a reliance on painkillers during their recovery period.
4. You can avoid a bone graft.
Since subperiosteal implants do not need to be placed in your jawbone, there is no minimum requirement for jawbone density. This means people who have experienced a significant amount of bone loss are still candidates for the procedure. Endosteal implants often require bone grafts, which can add several months to the entire process. However, your dentist can proceed with subperiosteal implants without performing a bone graft procedure on you.
Talk to your dentist about the possibility of getting subperiosteal implants. Many patients are very happy with the short healing time, lack of additional procedures, and less invasive techniques. Learn more about implants by contacting a local dentist.