If you want to replace a tooth, then you may know all about dental implants and how a screw or cylinder type of root is placed in the jaw. However, these invasive roots are not the only types that may be secured in your mouth during an oral surgery. Sometimes, implants are secured over the top of the jaw. These are called superiosteal roots, and they may be the best option for you. Keep reading to learn about superiosteal dental implants and when they may be used.
What Is A Superiosteal Dental Implant?
Superiosteal means on the bone and a superiosteal dental implant is a device with an implant root placed directly on top of the jaw. The implant does not mimic a natural tooth root like the common implant varieties that secure directly into the bone. Instead, the root is actually more of a metal brace or frame that hugs the jawbone ridge. A vertical post will connect to the middle of the metal frame and protrude up through the gums. This will be the area where the artificial tooth or denture will attach.
Unlike traditional dental implants, superiosteal devices are made from a metal called vitallium instead of titanium. Vitallium is a cobalt based alloy that is typically used in dentistry and other medical fields to create prosthetics. Since the metal framework of the implant needs to hug your natural jawbone ridge, it is considered a prosthesis. The prosthetic will be created to directly match your physiology. CT scans of your jaw will be used to create casts. In most cases, wax casts are utilized to create prosthetics. A biocompatible metal that can be heated, molded, and hardened is required to complete the casting process. Vitallium has the properties needed to make the dental device and to also retain strength afterwards.
Unfortunately, the superiosteal dental implant will not fuse to the bone over time. To make sure you can place pressure on your tooth, the prosthetic will be created so it sits over a wide area of your jaw. This helps to displace pressure and stress over a larger area. Also, loops may be worked into the design of the metal framework so screws or pins can be set into the jawbone to better secure the implant in place.
When Is A Superiosteal Implant Considered?
There are many circumstances where a superiosteal dental implant can be considered. If you have a narrow, thin, or porous jawbone that needs extensive rebuilding, then you may not want to go though the bone grafting process. Bone grafting is required to bulk up the bone in any area where a dental implant screw needs to be set in the jaw. Grafting is not needed though if implants are not placed directly into the bone, like in the case of superiosteal implants.
Also, if a portion of your jaw has died due to a failed implant or if a traditional implant root has loosened over time, then a device placed over the bone may be considered as a replacement. If you have a bone disease or another chronic disease that may result in fractures, then a superiosteal implant may be the best choice as well.
Implants secured over the bone are commonly considered when implant attached dentures are being added to the mouth. Dentures secured to implants require the placement of multiple implant roots. If the roots are placed in the jaw, the surgery can be incredibly painful and stressful. While it is possible to secure multiple implants at one time, many patients will opt for prosthetics instead. Also, if you lost your teeth many years ago, then your bone ridge may be much more shallow than it used to be. This may mean that the implants cannot be secured in the jaw anyhow and superiosteal implants are needed. For more information on this topic, contact a dentist like Richard L. Myers, DDS.