A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into the jaw to support a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are safe, sturdy and a common option for people who have lost teeth after a bout with periodontal disease or injury. Depending on the state of your jaw, your dentist may propose one of two types of implant: an endosteal implant or a subperiosteal implant.

What is an endosteal implant?
An endosteal implant is surgically embedded into the jawbone. After the surrounding gum tissue has healed, a post is surgically placed to connect it to the implant before an artificial tooth can be attached. Endosteal implants can support one tooth or multiple teeth and can be grouped on a denture or bridge as well.

What is a subperiosteal implant?
Subperiosteal implants are made of a metal frame that fits onto the jawbone below the gum tissue. While the gums heal, the frame attaches itself to the jawbone and posts are fitted to the frame. These posts protrude through the gums allowing artificial teeth to be mounted onto them. Usually, this type of implant is used on people with a shallow jawbone.

What are dental implants made of?
Generally, dental implants are made of titanium. This is a biocompatible material that our bodies safely accept and our bone is able to lock the implant in place by attaching itself to the material in a process called osseointegration. This provides a sturdy foundation for our replacement teeth that can withstand daily use and wear and tear. The titanium used is almost never commercially pure and is combined with other metals such as nickel, vitallium, palladium and others to form alloys. Today we also offer Ceramic metal free implants made of Zirconia. This is a white material that acts much like titanium in the body with the added benefit of being white and healthier to the gums.

What is the difference between titanium and zirconia implants?
Zirconium is actually one row below titanium on the periodic table of elements. It is often referred to as the “metal free” option of implants. Zirconia is tissue friendly, white in colour and offers tooth like restorability. Both implant types are safe and approved by Health Canada.

Zirconia and titanium fuse to the bone in the same way and both create sturdy foundations for artificial teeth, bridges and crowns.

Which implant is right for you?
This depends on the size, shape and state of your jaw and your preference of material as well as your dentist’s recommendation. If you need dental implants, contact DH Smile Center for more information.