What are the types of dental implants

Types of dental implants

There are innumerable different ones Types of dental implantsbut not all of which are used in routine dental practice. It is possible to classify the implants according to their shape, their material or the technique of implantation or positioning in the jaw.

Depending on the intended use and the anatomical conditions in the jaw, the dentist selects the right implant and the appropriate implantation technique.

Implant shapes

There are many different forms of implants.

Screw implants

Implants in the form of a screw are the most commonly used. There are two different types of screw implants. Implants with a self-tapping thread can be screwed directly into the bone. For screw implants with a normal thread, a hole must be pre-milled in the jawbone, into which the implant is then screwed.

Hollow cylindrical implants

The shape of a hollow cylinder increases the contact area with the jawbone. It soon became apparent, however, that the bone portion in the cylinder had poor blood flow and that the hollow cylinder shape was therefore of no advantage.

Leaf implants

Flat, leaf-shaped implants (leaf implants or extension implants) were used more frequently in the past. They are inserted into a slot along the jawbone. Since they are less stable than pin-shaped or screw-shaped implants and valuable jawbones are lost if they are lost due to infection, this type of implant is rarely used today.

Disc implants

Disk implants are one of the Basal implants, the so-called BOI (basal osseointegrated implants). They have the shape of a disc and are used when the jawbone has receded and a normal screw implant can no longer provide enough support. These implants are rarely used in Germany.

Dental implant materials

Dental implants must be firmly attached to the surrounding bone and tissue. Only a few materials allow this osseointegration. A very good tolerance, the so-called biocompatibility, is also important.

Dental implants can be classified according to the material used.

Ceramic implants

Ceramic implants were used earlier. They grow into the bones very well and are well tolerated. However, since ceramic materials are relatively brittle, material breaks often occurred. For this reason, ceramic implants are no longer used today.

Titanium implants

Titanium implants are by far the most commonly used. Pure titanium has very good biocompatibility and does not trigger any intolerance reactions or allergies. Thanks to its surface structure, titanium is also able to establish a firm connection with the jawbone.

Zirconia

Implants made of zirconium dioxide make use of a modern material that is one of the high-performance ceramic materials. Zirconium dioxide (also called zirconium oxide or zirconium (IV) oxide) is a compound of the element zirconium. It is a very stable, non-metallic material that is used in the manufacture of dental crowns and other dentures and has quickly established itself there. However, initial results show that the implants are not growing well into the bone, so that titanium remains the method of choice for dental implants at the moment.

One- and two-part implants

A Standard implant consists of the actual implant (usually in the form of a screw), which is embedded in the bone and takes over the function of the tooth root. A connecting piece (the abutment) ensures that the artificial teeth (the superstructure) are firmly anchored on the implant. The implant and abutment are usually separate from one another, but they can also be manufactured in one piece (one-piece implant).

Two-part dental implants

are composite dental implantswhere the implant and abutment are separate.

These offer greater flexibility and are therefore used more frequently than one-piece implants. They are very variable, as different combinations of the implant and connecting pieces are possible, so that a wide variety of superstructures can be attached.

With two-part implants, the screw implant is first inserted into the jawbone and heals there under the gums. It is protected from mechanical stress and bacterial colonization. Only after healing is the abutment and the superstructure anchored on it, so that the connection between the implant and the bone tissue (osseointegration) is not impaired during the healing phase.

One-piece dental implants

These combine the implant body and the connecting piece (abutment) in one. As a result, after the implantation, the implant head protrudes from the gum during the healing phase. Premature loading of the implant cannot always be avoided as a result. Under certain circumstances, this can lead to poorer healing or to restrictions in osseointegration. Therefore, these implants are used less often than two-part implants.

But they also offer advantages: They are cheaper, very break-proof and are suitable if the implant has to be loaded immediately after insertion, for example if the denture should be functional shortly after the operation.

Classification according to use

Implants can be divided according to their purpose and their positioning in the jaw.

Endosseous implants

Are inserted into the jawbone (endosseous = located in the bone). So the vast majority of the dental implants used in Germany are endosseous implants. These implants grow firmly together with the jawbone and serve as an artificial tooth root. The dental prosthesis, for example a dental crown, a bridge or a prosthesis, can then be anchored on this basic framework.

Subperiosteal implants

Are in contrast to the endosseous Implants not screwed into the jawbone, but lie on the bone over a large area. They are mainly used when there is massive bone loss. In these cases, there is not enough bone material to anchor normal implants deep enough in the bone. However, since there are very good opportunities to rebuild the jawbone today, this type of implant has not caught on in Germany. However, in other countries - such as the United States - they are used with good success.

Basal implants

Often called BOI (basal osseointegrated implants). Basal means oriented towards the base or towards the bottom. These Implants are relatively flat and are not screwed into the bone, but attached to the side of the bone. Therefore, they can also be used with low bone height and are immediately resilient due to the large contact surface. In Germany these implants are only used by a few specialists.

Narrow jaw implants

Also called mini implants. One speaks of a narrow jaw when the jawbone shrinks after tooth loss and mainly degrades in width. If the bone is too narrow to be able to implant screw implants with a normal diameter, implants with a reduced diameter of 1.8 to 3.1 millimeters are used. The use of such mini-implants is controversial because the stability is lower. However, they are often used as a temporary corrective measure in orthodontics.