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Types Of Dental Implants: Understanding The Best Option For You

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

Many people with missing teeth suffer from low self-confidence, insecurity, and lack of confidence in interacting with others. Moreover, losing teeth can make it difficult to chew, eat, and digest your food properly. Your dentist or oral surgeon may recommend dental implants if you have one or more missing teeth. 

Titanium is the material that is usually used to make implants. However, you can find dental implants on the market with other materials. When dental implants are placed beneath the gums, they act like normal tooth roads. 

Dental implants can be customized to suit your needs depending on the type of tooth you have lost. In the following sections, we will dive into the different types of dental implants now that you understand what they are.

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Important Statistics About Dental Implants

The following statistics highlight dental health and the need for dental implants in the United States.

Types Of Dental Implants

Different types of dental implants can be classified in two ways. A dental implant is classified based on the material it is made from, how it is placed, and how it is treated. 

The first two sections are devoted to the type of material used for dental implants, and the rest are concerned with how the implants are inserted.

Titanium Dental Implant

Titanium dental implants are surgically inserted into the jawbone of a patient. As the bone fuses to the implant post over time, the post remains firmly anchored in place. 

Titanium implants mimic natural tooth roots in function. In the current dental industry, titanium implants are the most commonly used type. Success has been a hallmark of their career for a long time. With their metal substructures and components, many challenging cases can be restored.

Zirconia Dental Implants

The FDA recently approved zirconia dental implants in the US, though they are a younger technology. It suffers from some of the characteristics of ceramics, such as its brittleness. Consequently, these implants are only suitable for limited situations. 

Zirconia implants are generally suitable for straightforward tooth restoration. The advocates of Zirconia argue that it is more inert than other materials, so it causes fewer allergic reactions or inflammatory reactions. White zirconia implants also have the advantage of looking similar to teeth.

Endosteal Implants

These are the most common types of dental implants. Like a screw, they fit perfectly well on the jawbone. They are suited for most patients but require a good, healthy jawbone for the post to fuse. 

Sometimes, a bone graft may be needed to create a healthy and strong foundation for the implant to be successfully placed. Once placed, this type of implant requires less time than other implants for the gums to fuse to the post and create a firm basis.

Subperiosteal Implants

Patients who do not want an endosteal procedure can choose this option. Some patients may find it more suitable for their specific needs. Implants like these are placed into the gum rather than inside the bone. 

An adjustment will be made to the implant beneath the gum line with this dental implant. The subperiosteal implant rests on the bone but is still under the gums instead of implanted directly into the jawbone. 

An attachment post is attached to the metal frame covering the gum. It is then held in place by the healing gum surrounding the frame. 

False teeth are attached to gum-line poles. An implant may not be placed if an insufficient jawbone supports an implant or if the patient does not want to undergo intensive oral surgery to increase jawbone tissue.

Zygomatic Implants

The third option is Zygomatic implants, which are relatively uncommon in modern dentistry. As bone augmentation requires a more complex procedure, these devices are only used when other options aren't available. 

Patients receive Zygomatic implants in their cheekbones rather than their jawbones. If there aren't enough jawbones for an Endosteal implant, a Zygomatic implant should be used instead. 

Cannot afford a dental implant? Please read our guide on how to get affordable dental implants and the cost breakdown of a dental implant.

Risks And Complications Of Dental Implants

Risks And Complications Of Dental Implants

Dental implants are rarely problematic. However, it is important to note that any surgery carries some risk. Despite their high success rate, dental implants could fail. If you are considering getting dental implants, here are some things to consider.


There's a small chance that dental implants could cause an infection. Soft tissues (gums) around dental implants can be inflamed, and bone loss may occur. 

Infections may cause persistent bad breath, swelling of the gums, pus accumulation at the implant site, loosening of the implant or adjacent teeth, and new gaps between the teeth. Any of these signs of infection should be reported to your dentist immediately.

Nerve Damage

Implant dentistry poses a small risk of damaging the nerves in the face and gums. It is possible that the structures surrounding your implant, such as the blood vessels or your other teeth, have been damaged or injured. 

It is possible to experience pain, numbness, and tingling if you have nerve damage. As a result of nerve damage during the surgery, your chin, lips, gums, or natural teeth may be affected.

Dental Implant Rejection Or Failure

If your body rejects your dental implant, you may need to have it removed. The rejection of the dental implant by your body can result in it becoming loose or infected and requiring replacement. Dental implants can fail for several different reasons. 

Implant complications can include:

  • Peri-implantitis (inflammation of your gums around the implant).
  • Osseointegration problems.
  • A lack of bone growth on the implant.
  • The habit of grinding one's teeth.


Dental implants are subject to the gum disease known as peri-implantitis. You are more likely to contract this disease if you have poor oral health and certain bad habits. It is possible to develop peri-implantitis if your oral hygiene is poor. 

It may be possible for bacteria to enter crevices between the implants and your teeth and cause infection. Bone loss, bleeding, inflammation, and infection may result from these bacteria. Your implant should be kept clean and free of plaque. 

You can remove bacteria by brushing, flossing, or using a water irrigator. Certain lifestyle habits can also exacerbate Peri-implantitis. You should avoid drinking alcohol, using drugs, and smoking to lower your risk of complications.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are the frequently asked questions potential candidates of dental implants have on their minds when looking for options to restore their smile and chewing function. 

What is the lifetime of Dental Implants?

A dental implant can last a lifetime if you maintain and exercise adequate care. Dental implants can last a lifetime depending on the quality of the implant, the dentist's skill, and how well the patient cares for his mouth. 

What are the costs of Dental Implants?

Many factors affect dental implant cost, including how many implants are needed, their complexity, and the location of the dental practice. Dental implants range in price from $1,000 to $3,000. 

Do dental implants take a long time to heal?

Many factors affect how soon a person recovers from dental implant surgery. After the procedure, one can fully expect to recover between several weeks and months. 

How successful are dental implants?

Different factors affect dental implant success rates, including implant type, patient health, dentist skill, and implant quality. The success rate of dental implants is generally 95-98%, with some studies reporting 99% success rates. The types of dental implants used can greatly influence success rates.

Now that you understand the different types of dental implants, you will need to choose the one that is the best option for you. Depending on your situation, your dentist will play an important role in determining the right type of dental implant and the procedure. 

If you're interested in reading more articles about government and private assistance programs, check out the rest of the Gov-Relations resources. If you are struggling financially, read our blog post on churches that help with financial assistance.

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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