Four Common Questions About Subperiosteal Implants

Has your dentist informed you that you will need subperiosteal implants to replace your missing teeth? Though they are used regularly, this style of implant is not as common as standard, endosteal implants. Thus, most patients have a lot of questions about them. Here's a look at a few of those common concerns, and a little information to ease your worries and help you know what you can expect as you undergo the implant procedure.

What is the difference between subperiosteal implants and "normal" implants?

The type of implants most people get, known as endosteal implants, are inserted directly into the jaw bone. Subperiosteal implants, however, are placed between the gum and the jawbone. They rest on the surface of the bone and become held in place as the gums heal.

Why is your dentist recommending this type of implants instead of "normal" implants?"

If your jaw bone is not thick or strong enough, it will not be able to support standard endosteal implants, and subperiosteal implants must be used. Weak and decayed jaw bones are common in people who lose a tooth or teeth, but don't have them replaced right away, and in patients with osteoporosis. Some people just naturally have thin jaw bones that cannot support endosteal implants. However, subperiosteal implants can generally be fitted to weak and thin bones.

How are the actual false teeth attached to the implant?

The plate that is implanted between your gums and jawbone will contain some metal, screw-like projections. False teeth, known as crowns, are attached to these screws. They look just like natural teeth, and once you adapt to them, they'll feel like natural teeth, too.

What are the risks associated with subperiosteal implants?

Subperiosteal implants do have a slightly higher failure rate than endosteal implants, but since they are only used on patients for whom endosteal implants are not an option, they really are the best chance you have at having a full smile again. The major concern is that in some patients, the bone and gums do not heal properly around the implant. The implant may then need to be replaced or adjusted to better fit around the jaw bone. Surgical risks, such as reactions to anesthesia and post-surgical infections, do occur in some patients, but the risk of these complications is no different with this style of implants than with any other dental surgery.

If your dentist has recommended subperiosteal implants for you, then you can look forward to having a full mouth of teeth again within a few months' time. For more information about this process, contact professionals such as Carpenter Dental, Charles M. Carpenter DMD, and Chas M. Carpenter DMD.