Types of Dental Implants and Techniques

Dental implants come in different sizes, heights and types. As your dental implant expert, Dr. Wolf will determine which option is best for you, depending on your particular needs.

Types of implants

There are two main types of implants:

  • Titanium Dental Implants - Made from metal, Titanium is regarded as the most common type of dental implant materials. Its great characteristic was discovered in 1950. Since that time, studies showed that implants made from titanium metal allowed the bone to fuse around the implant creating a tight sturdy seal. 

  • Zirconia Dental Implant - In contrast to titanium, zirconia (a ceramic) is a recent invention. Zirconia dental implant materials combine both post and abutment into one unit. Zirconia dental implant came on the scene in the early 1990s, but has not had enough testing to support its strength and longevity.

If your jawbone is not able to support dental implants, several techniques can be used to rebuild bone, restore your natural jawline and provide a sturdy foundation for implant-supported teeth. These include:

  • Bone augmentation. This involves restoring or regenerating bone in your jaw when it is not able to support implants otherwise. Research shows that using bone additives and growth factors to fortify the bone generally achieves the best results.

  • Sinus lift. Also called sinus augmentation or sinus elevation, this involves adding bone below the sinus in cases where natural bone has deteriorated due to missing upper back teeth.

  • Ridge expansion. If your jaw isn’t wide enough to support dental implants, bone graft material can be added to a small ridge, or space, created along the top of your jaw.

3D Imaging and Treatment Planning

State-of-the-art, highly precise 3D digital imaging and implant

surgical planning software have made implant procedures faster

and highly predictable. Our team uses these tools to analyze the

anatomy of your jaw and determine the best sites for implant

placement before surgery. This saves time and money, and

shortens recovery time.​

Alternative Dental Implant Techniques

Depending on the health of your jawbone and your specific needs, we may suggest some alternative treatment options in addition to the traditional multi-step dental implant procedure. Options may include:

  • Immediate Load Dental Implants. Also called same day implants or Teeth in a Day®, immediate load dental implants allow placement of a temporary tooth during the same appointment as your dental implant placement. This may be a good option if you have enough natural bone and an implant secure enough to support immediate placement and pressure on the new temporary tooth

  • Mini dental implants (MDIs). Also called small or narrow diameter implants, these toothpick-sized implants are narrower than most commonly used dental implants. They are placed through less-invasive techniques and are used primarily to stabilize a lower denture

  • All-on-4®. All-on-4 is an alternative to placing a top or bottom set of replacement teeth, called a full arch. Four dental implants are placed in available bone, avoiding the need for bone grafting. Special abutments are used so that a temporary set of replacement teeth can be placed the same day. You follow a modified diet while the gum tissues heal and the implants bond with your natural bone. After about six months, the permanent replacement teeth will be placed and you can resume a
    regular diet

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Dr. Robert O. Wolf, DDS, FAGD, FASDA

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