If you’re missing one or several teeth, your dentist may have mentioned dental implants to you, and you may be wondering, “What are dental implants?” In a nutshell, a dental implant consists of a small post placed into your jaw bone and a cap on top of the post. However, within this broad umbrella, there are multiple different types of implants.
What Are Two-Stage Dental Implants?
Also called full dental implants, this is the traditional style of implant, and it’s called two stage because it happens over two different appointments. In the first stage, the dentist does a surgery to put the implant into the jaw bone and stitches your gum tissue over the implant. After several weeks, when the bone has ossified around the post, the dentist reveals the post and adds a dental crown to the top of the post.
What Are Same-Day Dental Implants?
Also called single-stage dental implants, these implants feature a much shorter and faster process. After the initial consultation, the dentist or oral surgeon places the post into your jaw bone. However, in this case, the post is slightly longer and it juts out over the gum line. The oral surgeon doesn’t stitch the gum closed over the post as they do with two-stage implants. Instead, they allow part of the post to stick out over the gum line.
At this point, you go home and allow the jaw to heal. Then, you return once everything has healed and the dentist places the cap on top of the post. With same-day implants, you don’t have to do the minor surgery described above to reveal the post. That’s the main difference between these two types of dental implants. In some cases, dentists can do same-day dental implants that consist of a post connected to a cap, and everything happens in a single appointment.
What Are Mini Dental Implants?
A mini dental implant is just like a regular implant but small. While standard implants are about 3.4 to 5.8 mm wide, mini implants are 1.8 to 3.3 mm wide and a bit shorter. However, they can be used for the same purposes.
What Are Dental Implants Used For?
Whether you choose full dental implants, same-day dental implants, or mini dental implants, they can all fill similar roles. You can use dental implants to replace a single missing tooth in your mouth. You can also use them to replace several missing teeth. To explain, imagine you are missing four teeth. In this case, the oral surgeon may put in two dental implants, one on each side of the area with the missing teeth. Then, a bridge attaches to each of the caps attached to the implants. This is also called a partial permanent bridge.
In other cases, dentists don’t necessarily have to add crowns to the implants. If you want removable dentures, you can actually snap them onto implants that protrude just slightly from your gums.
To learn more about dental implants and to discuss your options, contact Walton Center for Family Dentistry today. As a Loganville dentist we offer a range of cosmetic and surgical dental treatments.