Types of dental implants

Types of Dental Implants (and Which One is the Best for You!) 

Dental implants are the superior choice when it comes to replacing missing teeth and restoring bone health in the jaw. They are safe, highly effective, and can last a lifetime when properly cared for

In this article, we’ll discuss what the various types of implants are and how to determine which type is best for you. 

What are implants? 

When replacing one or more teeth, the following components are necessary: 

  • The implant (the base in the form of a small screw)
  • The abutment (the connector) 
  • The dental crown (the artificial tooth) 

By simple definition, a dental implant is an artificial tooth root that helps to support the jaw and prevents bone resorption (bone loss) when a natural tooth is removed. 

What is a dental implant

What types of dental implants are there?

There are several different types of dental implants. To better understand their differences, they can be broken down into two categories: the location where they need to be placed and the materials used to make them.

Where the implant needs to be placed 

There are four main types of implants which differ based on where they need to be placed. This will depend on the current state of a patient’s oral health.

  • Endosteal implant: Endosteal implants are little screws that are placed right under the gums within the jawbone. This is the most common type of dental implant performed.  
  • Subperiosteal implant: Subperiosteal implants are not directly attached to the jawbone. Instead, a metal plate is placed either on or above the jawbone and the implant screws are fixed to that plate. This type of implant is the alternative option when endosteal implants are not possible due to severe bone loss in the jaw.
  • Transosteal implant: Also known as a mandibular staple, transosteal implants can only be performed on the mandible (lower jaw). It consists of implants that run the length of the bone and are attached to a metal plate at the base of the jaw. This type of implant is the alternative to both endosteal and subperiosteal implants. 
  • Zygomatic implant: This type of implant is fixed to the zygomatic bone (cheekbone), rather than the jawbone. This procedure is used when the jawbone is too weak to support the implant. 

The material implants are made of 

Most implants are made from one of two materials: titanium or zirconium.

What are the most durable dental implants? 

With an average success rate of 95%, implants are an extremely durable option for replacing missing teeth. This high success rate depends on a variety of factors, such as the material it’s made of, where they are placed, and the expertise of the dentist performing the dental implant procedure. 


With respect to the materials, titanium and zirconia are known for their strength and durability. They offer multiple benefits, including: 

  • Biocompatibility: Biocompatibility refers to a material’s ability to integrate well with the human body without causing adverse reactions. Both of these materials have an exceptional ability to fuse with the surrounding bone through a process called osseointegration. During this process, the bone cells grow and attach themselves to the surface of the implant.
  • Biologically inert: With the exception of people who are allergic to metal, both materials are considered biologically inert, meaning it does not trigger an immune response or cause inflammation in the surrounding tissues. This quality is essential for dental implants since any foreign material that elicits an immune reaction may jeopardize the integration process. Titanium and zirconium’s biologically inert nature ensures a smooth and trouble-free healing process, enhancing the chances of a successful implant outcome.
  • Resistance to corrosion: Both titanium and zirconia are highly resistant to corrosion, making them an excellent choice for a long-lasting solution. Neither of these materials corrode or rust when exposed to the acidic environment in the mouth. This resistance to corrosion ensures that the implant remains structurally sound and maintains its integrity over time.
  • Strength and stability: Titanium is renowned for its impressive strength-to-weight ratio. This means that titanium implants are incredibly strong and sturdy despite being relatively lightweight. While slightly weaker, zirconia also provides a robust foundation for the replacement tooth or teeth. Root stability ensures that the dental implant can withstand the forces of biting and chewing, just like natural teeth. 

Studies have determined that the mechanical properties and osseointegration (fusing to the bone) of titanium are superior to zirconia, whereas zirconia implants are more biocompatible than titanium.

While titanium remains the gold standard when it comes to implant materials, zirconia is a great option and alternative for patients who are allergic to metal. 

Proper placement 

The condition of your maxillary and mandibular health will help the dentist determine if you need endosteal, subperiosteal, transosteal, or zygomatic implants. 

To ensure their success rate and longevity, other procedures may have to be performed prior to placing the implants. Some common procedures include: 

  • Bone augmentation: Bone augmentation is necessary when you don’t have enough bone to support dental implants. This procedure involves adding bone grafts to your jaw, which in turn promotes bone growth needed to create a foundation for the implants. 
  • Sinus lift: A sinus lift is necessary when implants are needed in the upper jaw, but there is insufficient bone. This procedure lifts the sinus membrane and adds a bone graft, creating more space for implant placement.
  • Ridge expansion: A ridge expansion is necessary when the jawbone is too narrow to support implants. This procedure widens the jawbone to make it suitable for implant placement.


It is critical that the dentist who performs your implant is not only qualified but also experienced. The best-qualified dental specialists for this procedure are oral surgeons, periodontists, and prosthodontists.

Dr. Delwyn Dick (DDS) and Dr. Lamont Murdoch (DDS) are the best dentists in Coeur d’Alene, ID. Their mastery of dental implant procedures comes as a result of more than 25 years of experience in the field. 

What type of implants are best for you? 

When it comes to determining the best type of dental implant for you, it’s important to first consider how many teeth need to be replaced.

  • Single-tooth implants: When a single dental implant is needed, endosteal implants are typically the go-to choice as they are incredibly versatile and effective.
  • Multiple-tooth implants: If you’re filling the gap where three or more consecutive teeth are missing, an implant-supported bridge may be the best solution. Instead of a traditional dental bridge where the artificial tooth is supported by the natural teeth surrounding it, an implant-supported bridge is supported by implants. 
  • Full-mouth implants: There are a few options for restoring an entire set of teeth, whether it’s for the maxilla, the mandible, or both. Typically, 4 to 6 implants are placed on each jaw to support an implant-retained denture or All on-4 dental implants. This ensures stability and supports jaw bone health. 
    • Implant-retained dentures (or snap-on dentures) are a step above traditional dentures. As the name suggests, they are dentures but rather than being supported by your gums, they’re supported by implants. They are removable and need to be cleaned daily. 
    • All-on-4 implants are also entirely supported by implants but unlike snap-on dentures, they are fixed permanently to the jaw. They can be removed periodically by a dental professional for deep cleanings.
  • Immediate load dental implants: In the case of immediate load implants, are also referred to as same-day implants, the implant is placed at the same time that the original tooth is extracted. This procedure, which allows for a quicker treatment and is the least invasive, is the preferred method used by our dentists. 
  • Mini dental implants (MDIs): Mini implants are an excellent option for those with limited space or bone density since they’re smaller than traditional endosteal implants. They are commonly used for stabilizing dentures and can be effective for replacing single missing teeth as well.

Following your initial consultation, our team of experts at Kootenai Dental Group in Coeur d’Alene, ID will be pleased to help you determine the type of implants you’ll need. 

Bottom line

Dental implants are truly a game-changer when it comes to restoring your smile and improving your quality of life. Because each individual’s case is unique, consulting with one of our cosmetic dentists is the first step to determining the best type of implant for you.

To schedule your free dental implant consultation, call Kootenai Dental Group in Coeur d’Alene, ID at 208-623-7207 today!

Share this post

Get in touch


555 W Canfield Ave.                 

 Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815

Contact Us

Phone :  208.762.8750

Google Support: (208) 516-2080

Our Hours

Mon/Thur/Fri : 7:00 am -3:00 pm

Tues & Wed : 7:00 am -6:00 pm

Follow Us
Award Winning Dentists
Idaho's Best dentist
EliteStar dentist idaho