Types of Dental Implants: Which One is Right for You?

If you have missing teeth, dental implants can be an excellent option to restore your smile and improve your oral health. But with so many different types of dental implants available, how do you know which one is right for you? In this article, we will discuss the different types of dental implants, their pros and cons, and which one is suitable for different types of dental patients.

Types of Dental Implants

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are placed into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth or teeth.

They are small, screw-like posts made of biocompatible materials that are surgically implanted into the jawbone to provide a stable foundation for replacement teeth.

The implants serve as a base for the artificial teeth, also known as dental crowns, bridges, or dentures.

Types of Dental Implants

There are several different types of dental implants, each with its own unique features, advantages, and disadvantages. Here are the most common types of dental implants

Endosteal implants

Endosteal implants are the most popular type of dental implant. These implants consist of a titanium screw that is placed directly into the jawbone. Once the implant fuses with the jawbone, a connector called an abutment are attached to the screw, and the dental prosthesis is placed on top of it. An endosteal implant is ideal for patients who have enough jawbone to support implants.

Subperiosteal implants

Subperiosteal implants are an alternative to endosteal implants for patients who don’t have enough healthy bone available. Instead of being placed into the jawbone, subperiosteal implants are placed on top of the jawbone, under the gums. These implants are attached to a metal frame that is fitted onto the jawbone. Subperiosteal implants are ideal for patients who cannot undergo bone grafting or have a shallow jawbone.

Zygomatic implants

Zygomatic implants are an advanced type of dental implant that is used for patients who have a severe lack of healthy jawbone. Instead of being placed into the jawbone, zygomatic implants are anchored to the cheekbone (zygoma). Zygomatic implants are ideal for patients who cannot undergo a bone augmentation procedure or have lost a significant amount of jawbone.

All-on-4 implants

All-on-4 implants are a type of dental implant that is used to replace an entire arch of teeth. The implant consists of four dental implants that are placed in the jawbone at specific angles. Once the implants bond with the jawbone, a full arch of artificial teeth is attached to the implants. All-on-4 implants are ideal for patients who have lost all of their teeth or have surrounding teeth that cannot be saved.

Mini dental implants

Mini dental implants are a smaller version of endosteal implants. These implants are used to stabilize lower dentures or replace small teeth in narrow spaces. Mini dental implants are less invasive than traditional implants and require less healing time. However, they may not be suitable for patients with severe jawbone loss.

Dental Implants

The Procedure of Dental Implantation

Choosing the best dental implant surgery procedure depends on factors such as the location and number of missing teeth, oral health, and personal preferences. A dental professional can help determine the best treatment plan after a comprehensive oral exam and medical history review. Additional treatments may be needed for underlying conditions, and special precautions may be required for dental implant surgery in patients with certain medical conditions.

The dental implantation procedure typically involves several steps:


The dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area around the implant site. In some cases, the dentist may also provide sedation to help the patient relax.


The dentist will make a small incision in the gum tissues to access the jawbone.

Dental implant Placement

The dentist will drill a small hole into the jawbone and insert the titanium post into the hole. The post will be secured in place with a small screw.

Healing Process

After the implant is placed, the patient will need to allow time for the jawbone to heal and fuse with the post. This process, known as osseointegration, typically takes several months.

Attachment of the Abutment

Once the jawbone has healed, the dentist will attach the dental implant and secure an abutment to the top of the post. The special abutments serve as a connector between the implant and the temporary tooth.

Attachment of the Artificial Tooth

Finally, the dentist will attach an artificial tooth or crown to the missing tooth abutment. The temporary tooth or dental prosthesis will be custom-made to match the patient’s natural teeth in size, shape, and color.



After the dental implant procedure, patients will need to follow specific aftercare instructions to promote healing and prevent complications. This may include:

  • Taking pain medication as prescribed
  • Using ice packs to reduce swelling
  • Eating soft foods for several days after the procedure before going back to your normal diet
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity for at least the first few days after the procedure.
  • Avoiding smoking and tobacco products, which can slow the healing
  • Practicing good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing regularly and using an antiseptic mouthwash
  • Patients should also schedule follow-up appointments with their dentist to monitor the healing process and ensure that the dental implant is functioning correctly.
Dental Implant

What is the best age for dental implants?

There is no specific age limit for dental implants, as each patient’s situation is unique. Generally, implants are recommended for adults who have fully developed jaws and are in good oral health. This typically means that patients should be at least 18 years old, although some younger patients may be eligible for implants if their jaws are fully developed.

It’s important to note that age is not the only factor to consider when determining whether a patient is a good candidate for implants. Other factors, such as overall health, bone density, bone quantity, and gum health, can also play a role in determining eligibility for dental implant surgery.

Benefits of Dental Implants

What are the benefits of dental implants?

Implants offer numerous advantages for those who have lost one or more teeth. These include improved appearance, enhanced functionality, better oral health, a long-lasting solution for one or more tooth losses, prevention of bone loss, and easy maintenance. They look and feel like natural teeth, allowing for easy eating, speaking, and smiling. Unlike other multiple teeth or single-tooth replacement options, they do not require any changes to adjacent teeth, preserving natural teeth and preventing further dental problems.

How long do tooth implants last?

The lifespan of a dental implant can vary depending on a variety of factors, including the patient’s oral health, the quality of the implant and its placement, and how well the patient takes care of their teeth and gums.

However, with proper care and maintenance, implants can last for many years, even a lifetime. Research shows that these have a high success rate, with a long-term success rate of around 95-98%. This means that for most, it can last for 20-25 years or more. However, some people have had implants that have lasted for more than 30 years.

Material for Implants

What Are Dental Implants Made Of?

Dental implants are typically made of a biocompatible material called titanium. This is because titanium has been found to be very compatible with human bone, meaning that it can integrate with natural bone and tissue and become a permanent part of the jawbone.

The dental implant consists of a small screw or post that is inserted into the jawbone to serve as the foundation for restoring teeth, such as a crown or bridge. The titanium dental implant is usually coated with a rough surface to encourage bone growth and fusion.

In some cases, zirconia dental implants may be used instead of titanium. Zirconia is a ceramic material that is also biocompatible and can be used in a similar way to titanium.

Regardless of the material, implants are designed to be strong, durable, and long-lasting, providing permanent replacement teeth.

Pros and Cons of Dental Implants


  • Improved oral health: Implants can help preserve the remaining natural teeth and prevent further decay and gum disease.
  • Improved speech and comfort: Unlike removable dentures, implants do not slip or move, allowing patients to speak and eat comfortably.
  • Aesthetically pleasing: Implants look and feel like natural teeth, providing a natural-looking and confident smile.
  • Long-lasting: Dental implants are durable and can last for decades with proper care.


  • Cost: It can be more expensive than other dental procedures.
  • Time-consuming: The procedure can take several months to complete.
  • Surgical procedure: Dental implant placement requires minor surgery, which may not be suitable for some patients.
  • Potential complications: Like any surgical procedure, implants carry a risk of complications, such as infection, nerve damage, and implant failure.

In summary, the different types of dental implants provide patients with various options to replace missing teeth. Choosing the right type can depend on factors such as bone density, the number of missing teeth, and the patient’s overall health. With proper care and maintenance, all types of dental implants can offer long-term benefits such as improved oral health, enhanced function, and a more natural-looking smile. It is essential to consult with a dental professional to determine the best dental implant option for your individual needs and achieve the best possible outcome.