When the words endosteal, subperiosteal, and zygomatic mean nothing to you, it’s likely that you’re just starting to expand your knowledge of dental implants. Why you would be doing that can mean that you, or someone you care about, have been given the news by your dentist that an implant is advised; or somehow you’ve ended up here via a rabbit hole you don’t remember entering.

Most dental stuff is pretty overwhelming. Mostly because we don’t expect it, or we were hoping for it not to be whatever the thing is it might be, and it is. Pragmatists may have a slightly easier time with it all. For the majority, whereas the eyes are the soul, the teeth are our confidence and social standing.

It’s vital for us to be able to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, and swallow. So important is it that we have the capacity for a range of facial expressions without pain, discomfort and disease of the mouth, the Fédération Dentaire Internationale defined oral health as such, to the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2020.

You don’t argue with the FDI. It’s like questioning god. Or at least King of the Tooth Fairies.
There are quite a few things to consider with dental implants, and like all good things, they’re made specifically for you and the conditions presented; whether they be hereditary, misadventure or regretful neglect.

A dental implant is a procedure that requires meticulous planning and detailed execution.
Depending on the condition of gums and jawbone, sometimes a single implant can support two adjacent teeth. More commonly, multiple implants anchor fixed bridges or removable partials. All-On-Four dental implants are easy as they’re widely available.

This type is ideal for those having lost most, or all their teeth due to decay or gum disease. Implants can be placed without bone grafting via a set of temporary teeth the same day, or very soon thereafter.
It’s all pretty clever, really. Dental implants are the inspiration and the development of Swedish orthopaedic surgeon Dr Per-Ingvar Brånemark, M.D., Ph.D., who died five days before Christmas 2014 in his hometown of Gothenburg, aged 85.

Almost 50 years before, he had performed the first titanium implant on “a man with a cleft palate, jaw deformities and no teeth in his lower jaw.” Brånemark’s brainstorm gave the patient four titanium implants that allowed him to use dentures for forty year from 1965 until his death.

Way before the social media importance of a smile makeover this man had not been able to eat or speak properly since birth which makes it a bit more than simply Tik Tok worthy.

Endosteal (Endosseous) is the most commonly used dental implant, sometimes used as an alternative to a bridge or a denture. The implant screw types are threaded, cylinder, or bladed and your prosthodontist will determine which works best for you, but endosteal implants are safe, effective and the most popular choice.

Once primarily used to hold dentures in place for patients with insufficient bone, subperiosteal implants are placed on the jawbone within the gum tissue; post exposed through the gum to secure the denture. Advances in the field of dentistry mean subperiosteal implants are now rarely applied.
The third type of dental implant is the most complex.

Zygomatic (Zygoma) implants is solution when there is severe bone loss in the upper jaw. It too avoids the need for bone grafting with implants fixed to the cheekbone (zygomatic bone), through the sinuses. They can be combined with one or more regular (root form) implants in the front of the jaw depending on the support needed for maxillary teeth, bridges and dentures.

Of the three types of dental implants, your dentist knows the most suitable for you and you want to be able to be confident in your decision. So talk with your dentist, do some research or seek another professional opinion if you’re feeling uncomfortable, never argue with a specialist, and look forward to the change in your life.