Dental implants are unique and versatile devices that can help to replace a single tooth or secure a full set of removable dentures. The implants can even help to secure a bridge more strongly in the mouth or retain a partial denture more permanently. Your dentist or oral surgeon will work with you to come up with the right dental implant and upper bridge, denture, or crown attachment that looks best in your mouth. Typically, there are two types of dental implants. These include endosteal and subperiosteal implants.
Endosteal implants are the types of implants that are secured directly into your jawbone. These are the typical long-term implants that most people receive when they are replacing a single tooth or a bridge. Endosteal implants include several different implant root varieties that include screw, blade, and cylinder types. Keep reading to learn about these implant roots and when the different varieties may be used.
Screw implants are the standard roots that provide you with optimal strength. If you are in good oral health, are young, and want a dental replacement that will last for the rest of your life, then a titanium screw root will typically be implanted into your jaw. The dental root will be set in your mouth once a hole is drilled large enough in the jaw to accept the width and length of the device. The root will be screwed down into the bone much like a piece of hardware is placed in a piece of wood. The edges of the screw hold the root in place, and they also provide a large surface area for your jaw to heal around the implant. When this happens, the implant is virtually immovable. This is one reason why screw roots are typically used and retain a high acceptance rating over time.
Cylinder implants are also a common implant root, but they will not retain as much strength as the screw type. This root will place less stress on the bone though. Implant cylinder roots are smooth across the exterior unlike tapered screw types. This means the root can slip right into the drilled opening in the jaw. Tapered roots are screwed down into the hole and this can create some stress on the bone. If you are prone to bone fractures or if you have ever had or are at risk of developing osteonecrosis, then a cylinder root may be a good choice.
Osteonecrosis occurs when the bone dies from lack of oxygen and nutrition, and this can happen after a surgical procedure that involves the bone. If you have ever had chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or an organ transplant, then you may be more likely to develop osteonecrosis. If you have HIV, cancer, a blood disorder, or a bone disease, then these things may also increase your osteonecrosis risks as well.
Blade endosteal implants are the third type of bone driven root structures, and this type of root is the least common of the three. Blade roots are narrow and thin pieces of steel or titanium that are forced into slender holes in the jaw. These types of roots are used in areas where the jaw is too narrow to fit bulky and wide screw and cylinder devices. For example, the lower front part of the jaw is naturally thinner. If this part of the jaw has worn away or degraded over the last several years, then it may contain even less bone matter than normal.
In this case, a blade implant is the only type of root that will fit into the bone. Blades are sometimes used as well if you are missing several teeth in one area of the mouth but want distinctive and separate implants to replace each tooth. Blade roots will fit next to one another without damaging a large portion of the jaw and possibly increasing rejection risks. However, blade implant roots will have the smallest surface area of all the endosteal roots. This means that there will be less material for new bone cells to stick to during the healing process. The result will be a weaker implant, but this may not be an issue in areas of the mouth where the jaw retains less stress, like in the front of the mouth.