Posted on: 22 February 2017Share
A dental implant is a root for an artificial tooth that is typically anchored to the jaw bone, and holds the replacement tooth in place. In some situations, it is not possible to use the jawbone to anchor the tooth, causing the need to rely on gum tissue. It's called a subperiosteal implant, and here are 4 common questions about this dental device.
When Is A Subperiosteal Implant Used?
If you are not a good candidate for a common implant, a subperiosteal implant could be best for you. This can happen if you've been missing a tooth for a very long time and the jawbone in that area of the jaw has become weak. The remaining jawbone could have problems supporting a traditional implant. In these situations, a bone graft can be used to get the implant, but that procedure has its own requirements as well. The subperiosteal implant will be the alternative option that doesn't require a bone graft.
How is This Type of Implant Inserted?
Your dentist will start by taking a very detailed jawbone impression. It can be done using impression putty, though CT scanning equipment is an alternative way to do it. The impression taken is used to build a metal framework designed to support the implant. Once it is ready, the metal framework is installed beneath the gums. A post will be attached directly to this metal framework, with it protruding from your gums.
The soft gum tissue must heal before the replacement tooth can be installed to the metal post.
How Does A Subperiosteal Implant Stay Supported?
Since that metal framework will be made to fit the specific dimensions of the jawbone, it will hug onto it very tightly. When the soft gum tissue heals, it holds everything in place just as well as if you used a bone graft or had a healthy jawbone.
Is A Subperiosteal Implant Effective?
Studies have been performed that help demonstrate how effective a subperiosteal implant can be. A 2004 study in particular looked at 40 patients that had the implant installed over an 18 year period. 39 of those patients had the original subperiosteal implant still installed and didn't report any dissatisfaction or pain.
Getting a dental implant is a big decision, and you should definitely consult with a dentist about it. They will be able to evaluate your jawbone to find out what kind of implant you will be a good candidate for and if a subperiosteal implant is necessary.