What is a Subperiosteal Implant?
When someone loses a tooth, endosteal implants are put in the jawbone. It acts as an artificial root and keeps the replacement tooth in its position. However, using endosteal implants is not possible when a person requires dental implants but the jawbone cannot support them. This is when doctors use subperiosteal implants. These implants come with a metal frame that is placed between the jawbone and the gum during the procedure.
It stays right underneath the periosteum, a thin layer of tissue between the jawbone and the gum. Since the implant is not installed into the jawbone and stays above it, the structure or the shape of the jawbone does not impact the implant. Although performing this procedure takes as long as attaching endosteal implants, the recovery time in the case of subperiosteal implants is much shorter.
When do doctors suggest Subperiosteal Implants?
A subperiosteal implant is only suggested for the back teeth and not the front. This procedure is performed when the patient loses all or most of the back teeth. Also, a subperiosteal implant is suggested when the patient has an eroded jawbone. Since it comes with a metal structure and does not go directly into the jawbone, the implant does not further impact the structural integrity of the already damaged jawbone.
Although oral hygiene can be blamed for the loss of jawbone in many cases, it is not the only reason that can cause jawbone erosion. Many other aspects can impact the jawbone condition and create the requirement for subperiosteal implants. Common causes include thyroid issues, calcium deficiency, old age, etc. Hereditary conditions can lead to jawbone erosion as well.
In some cases, attaching endosteal implants might not be possible. For instance, people with a shallow jawbone are not good candidates for endosteal implants. This is when subperiosteal implants prove to be useful. As they are not installed directly into the jawbone, the shape of the jawbone has no impact. When you visit for your first consultation, your dentist will assess the condition of your teeth and gums and let you know if you can opt for a subperiosteal implant.
Who can get Subperiosteal Implants?
When a patient requires dental implants but attaching an endosteal implant is not possible into the jawbone, subperiosteal implants are commonly recommended. If the patient’s teeth are still developing like that of young children, subperiosteal implants are not recommended. This is because the frame will not adjust properly when the teeth grow.
The ideal candidate for subperiosteal implants would be a person whose jawbone is no longer developing. Also, the person’s jawbone should not be in a condition to support an endosteal implant. However, attention should be paid to dental hygiene if the erosion of the jawbone is due to a disease like periodontal disease. Otherwise, it can further interfere and deteriorate the condition of the jawbone.
How does a Subperiosteal Implant work?
All dental implants support your jawbone and make day-to-day life convenient. When an endosteal implant is attached, a metal screw is surgically installed into the jawbone. This screw becomes a part of the jawbone over time. This process is called osseointegration. The same process occurs when subperiosteal implants are installed. However, they function differently. A metal frame is installed by the dentist between the gum and jawbone. The implants are then attached to the metal frame.
How is the Subperiosteal Implant procedure performed?
The entire procedure cannot be completed in one session. You will have to make multiple visits to your doctor for the subperiosteal procedure. In some cases, the visits can last as long as a few months. However, the span strictly depends on the severity of the procedure and the rate of healing. You will be given an estimated time frame for how long it can take to heal during your first visit. Here is what you can expect when you visit renowned and reputed places like the 19th Ave:
- When you visit for the first appointment, the doctor will first assess the situation by making a small incision in the gums or taking a CT scan of the jawbone. This will allow your doctor to develop a metal frame that will fit in your mouth perfectly.
- Once the frame is developed, you will be asked to visit the doctor for the installation procedure.
- To avoid infection, the area is first cleaned properly and then a topical anesthetic is applied to reduce pain.
- When your gums start feeling numb, a small incision will be made so that the frame can be installed.
- Your doctor will carefully cut into the gum tissue but not the jawbone. The metal frame is then carefully installed and adjusted.
- When the frame fits properly, the incision is stitched and closed.
- The installation of the implants only begins once the gums heal properly. Very carefully they are installed onto the frame so that the patient can get back to normal life. If the permanent prosthetic is not ready, a temporary crown or bridge can be provided for temporary use.
Once the installation process is complete, the jawbone will get the necessary support to function properly.
How to ensure a quick recovery after the Subperiosteal procedure?
The recovery time varies from patient to patient. While most patients recover within the timeframe mentioned by the doctor, some can take a little longer. The severity of the procedure has a huge impact on the recovery time as well. The first few days after the procedure you may experience mild to moderate pain in your gums. If it causes a lot of discomfort, you can consider taking over-the-counter pain medications. You should avoid hard and hot food as well. They can cause complications.
Smokers should stop smoking for a few days as it can increase the chances of failure. Do not worry if you have swelling. Ice packs and ibuprofen can help to reduce swelling. Also, always keep your mouth clean. Using an antibacterial mouthwash can help you to maintain good oral hygiene.
Put your mouth in the expert hands of 19th Avenue Dental. If you are concerned about getting dental implants because of the strength of your jawbone, schedule a consultation with 19th Avenue Dental to see if you are a candidate for subperiosteal implants. Contact us today at 425-985-8130.