Pros and Cons of Subperiosteal Dental Implants
Dental-replacement options can help restore the look of your natural smile following tooth loss. Cosmetic dentistry offices have several replacement solutions, but dental implants remain one of the most popular options. Traditional dental implants, formally called endosseous implants, involve the dentist surgically inserting a metal root into healthy jawbone and then letting that bone heal around the root. But subperiosteal dental implants offer an alternative to that procedure.
Subperiosteal implants have pros and cons to consider and discuss with your dentist. Here are some factors that can help you decide whether this type of implant is right for your mouth.
Pro: Natural Look and Feel with a Shorter Treatment Time
Subperiosteal implants have a small metal plate that hooks over the jawbone ridge. The overlying soft tissue heals back into place and secures the plate. An artificial tooth is then attached to the top of the plate for your dental replacement.
The subperiosteal implant looks and feels fairly natural. The plate does not slide around the same way a surface-level plate, like those found on partial and full dentures, can move while you chew. The artificial crown on the implant is made to fit perfectly in your mouth, including with a color match so that you don't have one overly white tooth in your smile.
The lack of jawbone support means you won't need to wait for the bone to heal around the root, which is typically a lengthy process. Soft tissue heals over the subperiosteal implant much faster than bone heals, so you will have a shorter treatment time than with a traditional dental implant.
Pro: Suitable for Weak Jawbones
Poor jawbone health is one of the most common disqualifiers for patients seeking a traditional dental implant. The implant root requires a certain level of jawbone health or density or else the bone won't heal around the bone properly and the implant will become loose or fall out.
A subperiosteal implant only requires that you have enough of a jawbone ridge to support the plate. If you don't have a healthy enough ridge, a bone graft is possible to help build up the bone in that area. But if you are already going through a lengthy surgical procedure like a graft, you might as well stick to a traditional dental implant for your replacement option.
Con: Not as Sturdy as Traditional Dental Implants, and There Is No Bone-Health Promotion
Traditional dental implants get their stability from the fact that the root is held into place by jawbone. Subperiosteal implants don't have that bone support and are therefore less stable than a traditional dental implant.
The lack of jawbone involvement also means that a subperiosteal implant doesn't promote jawbone health to the same level. Natural teeth move slightly, and the friction helps promote jawbone health. Traditional implant roots mimic that friction and health promotion. Subperiosteal implants can provide some surface-level friction and promote the health of the soft tissue but don't offer the same level of bone-health benefits.
Consult a dentistry such as Smile 1st Dental Care for more information about what dental-replacement option might be right for you.