4 Types of Dental Implants (Procedure, Costs, Pros & Cons) (2023)

What are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root surgically implanted into your jawbone. It is a popular tooth replacement option after tooth loss or extraction.

Dental implants have resulted in successful dental restorations for over 30 years. More than 5 million dental implants are placed in the U.S. every year.

Dental Implant Structure: How They Work

The body of a dental implant consists of three pieces that serve different functions:

  1. The implant (or screw) serves as the tooth's artificial root.
  2. The abutment is the connecting post between the implant screw and crown.
  3. The crown is the 'fake' tooth that rests on top of the abutment. They match the shape and look of your natural teeth.
4 Types of Dental Implants (Procedure, Costs, Pros & Cons) (1)

Dental Implant Techniques & Materials

Dental implants come in two different forms, including:

Endosteal Implant

An endosteal implant (root form implant) is the most commonly used today. It is made with titanium, small screws, and alloplastic material, which refers to an artificial tissue graft.

Endosteal implants are surgically inserted into the jawbone. Over time, the implants bond with the natural bone.

Subperiosteal Implant

Subperiosteal implants are extremely rare. However, they are a better option for people with insufficient natural jawbones to support endosteal implants.

A subperiosteal implant is placed under the gums (on or above the jawbone). It is not surgically inserted into the jawbone.

4 Types of Dental Implants

There are different types of dental implants available:

1. Single Tooth Implant

A single dental implant is ideal when one tooth is missing, and you want to replace it for aesthetics, comfort, and function. It requires one dental crown that connects to the implant screw.

The average cost of a single tooth implant can range from $3,000 to $4,000.

2. Implant-Supported Bridge

Implant-supported bridges are ideal for people with several missing teeth. The implant acts as an anchor for the bridge (instead of a natural tooth).

A fixed dental bridge restores function by preventing other teeth from moving. It also improves eating and speaking functions.

An implant-supported bridge costs between $5,000 and $16,000.

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3. All-on-4 Dental Implants

All-on-4 implants are recommended when a patient is looking for a secure solution for many missing teeth. This solution restores your entire upper or lower jaw (or both arches).

This is a permanent restoration. However, the overdenture can be removed for cleaning and dental exams.

The average cost ranges from $15,000 to $20,000 per arch.

4. 3-on-6 Dental Implants

An alternative to an implant-retained denture is a 3-on-6 implant. It consists of three individual dental bridges attached to six dental implants.

The cost of 3-on-6 implants can range from $10,000 to $15,000 per arch.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants have their benefits. However, they can also come with disadvantages.

Here are the benefits of dental implants:

  • Allows you to chew and speak normally
  • Designed to look like your natural teeth, improving your self-esteem
  • Reduces stress on your remaining natural teeth by offering independent support
  • Preserves bone, reducing the appearance of aging
  • Helps prevent loss of jaw height
  • Easy to clean and care for
  • With proper care, implants can last between 15 and 25 years

Here are the disadvantages of getting dental implants:

  • Will not whiten like your natural teeth
  • Requires an invasive surgery for placement
  • They are expensive (but the long-term benefits are usually worth it)
  • Bone grafting may be necessary before placement if you do not have enough natural bone remaining

Dental Implant Procedure: Step-By-Step

Dental implant procedures are a type of outpatient surgery. Patients can return home on the same day of surgery.

The procedure can take many months to complete due to the healing process and artificial tooth (crown) placement. Professionals who can perform a dental implant surgery include:

  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeons
  • Periodontists
  • Prosthodontists

The procedure is separated into multiple steps, depending on the number of implants a patient needs:

1. Remove the Tooth

If the damaged tooth is still in your mouth, the dentist will extract it. This step is not necessary if your tooth is already missing.

2. Grafting and Jawbone Preparation

Patients who undergo implant surgery may have thin or soft jawbones. In this case, bone grafting will be necessary.

It improves the quantity of bone and ensures the procedure doesn’t fail. The healing process for bone grafts takes a few months before a dental implant can be placed.

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3. Implant Placement

During the actual procedure, the oral surgeon exposes the bone by cutting the gums.

An oral surgeon or periodontist drills holes into the bone. Then they position the implant (a post) deep into the bone, which functions as the tooth’s root.

If a front tooth is being restored, the dentist will fill the space with a temporary removable solution while the implant heals below the gums. If it is a back tooth, they will not place anything over it.

4. Healing and Growth

Osseointegration begins after the metal implant is placed in your jawbone. This is when the supporting bone begins to bond with the implant.

This process can take several months to complete and ensures the base is sturdy enough to support an artificial tooth (dental crown).

5. Abutment Placement (Crown Preparation)

After the healing process is complete, your dentist will place an abutment on top of the implant post.

The abutment extends the implant above the soft tissue (gums). This step allows for easy placement of the dental crown.

6. Crown Placement (Artificial Tooth)

Once the implant grows into the bone and is strong enough to support chewing, your dentist will make new impressions of your mouth.

A dental technician will create a custom dental crown in a lab. The dental crown looks similar to your natural teeth and sits on the abutment (connector). It becomes the only visible part of the implant.

7. Aftercare

Pain medications and antibiotics are usually prescribed post-op. It is important to only eat soft foods and practice excellent oral care habits during the healing process.

Restrict the intake of alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco to see the best results. Regular check-ups are necessary during the first few months after the procedure. You should also keep up with regular dental exams post-surgery.

Side Effects and Complications of Dental Implant Surgery

Most implant procedures are successful. However, there is still a risk of incorrect healing.

To reduce this risk, practice good oral health care at home, including proper nutrition, brushing, and flossing.

As with any dental surgery, minor discomfort is normal. Common side effects(that aren’t threatening to the implant) include:

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  • Gum and face swelling
  • Bruises on the skin or gums
  • Minor bleeding
  • Pain where the implant was placed

More serious complications that can develop after an implant is placed include:

  • Damage to your surrounding teeth, gums, and/or blood vessels
  • Infection at the implant site
  • Prolonged bleeding
  • Sinus issues and pressure (if the implant is placed in your upper jaw)
  • Fractured jaw and jaw pain
  • Nerve damage, which can lead to tingling in the mouth or lips

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

Dental implants cost between $1,000 and $4,500 per tooth.

Does Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Some insurance plans cover dental implants, while others do not or only cover part of the procedure. For example, some dental insurance plans may cover the crown attached to the implant.

Some medical insurance plans will cover part of the surgery if the procedure is medically necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are dental implants painful?

You will most likely experience minor pain after surgery, but over-the-counter pain relievers can help reduce discomfort.

The pain should diminish after about a week. However, the implant can take up to 6 months to fully heal.

Are dental implants safe?

Implant dentistry has been practiced for over 50 years.

Dental implants are a safe and successful tooth replacement treatment option when done correctly and by the right specialists (e.g., periodontists and oral surgeons). Most people who get implants do not experience any problems, and the procedures have a high success rate.

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How long do dental implants last?

If you take care of your replacement tooth and practice good oral hygiene, it can last between 15 and 25 years, sometimes longer. Some people get their implants replaced earlier due to cosmetic concerns.

How common are dental implants?

In the U.S., more than 5 million dental implants are placed every year.

How common is dental implant failure?

It is estimated that about 5 to 10 percent of dental implants fail.

Why do dental implants fail?

The most common reason for failure is unsuccessful osseointegration (which means the implant has not bonded correctly with your jawbone). Other causes include allergic reactions, tissue damage, infections, sinus problems, smoking, and body rejection.

What are the symptoms of a failed dental implant?

Symptoms can include a loose or shifting implant, swollen gums, gum recession around the restoration, severe pain near the implant, and difficulty chewing.

In this article


What are the 4 types of implants? ›

Endosteal Implants. Subperiosteal Implants. All-on-4 dental implants. Implant Overdentures.

What is the All-on-4 dental procedure? ›

All-on-4 implants are four precisely placed implants on the upper and lower jaw of your mouth. Their main purpose is to support fixed dentures and eliminate the need to get an implant for every one of your missing teeth. Because the implants are made of titanium, they easily fuse with your jawbone and are very durable.

What type of implant is best? ›

Implants filled with silicone gel tend to feel more like real breast tissue than their saline counterparts and are less prone to rippling after surgery, which is cosmetic, not a functional, concern. They are a popular choice for women of any age, hoping to achieve results that look and feel very natural.

Are All-on-4 dental implants worth it? ›

While there can be challenges, studies have found that 98% of patients who undergo the All-on-4 dental implant process say it is worth it and would recommend it to others.

How long does it take to get All-on-4 implants? ›

It takes anywhere between four and six months for the All-on-4 implant process to be completed. It may take longer for those who are in need of additional dental work, which can add another month or two to the overall process.

Which is better All-on-4 or all on 6 dental implants? ›

All-On-6 Is A Safer Option

The all-on-6 implants make the teeth more stable and robust. However, this depends on how the patient's mouth, gums, and jawbone are. The two extra implants make the jaw better in the all-on-6 dental implant.

How much does All-on-4 implants cost in the US? ›

Cost for All-on-4 dental implants is estimated to range from $24,000 and could go over $28,000. Average cost of All-on-4 implants for full mouth is reported to be about $50,000 according to many providers across the US. This cost includes both the maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) jaws with permanent teeth.

What they don't tell you about dental implants? ›

Implants Fuse Together with Bone

However, many people don't realize that the reason why dental implants prevent bone loss is that they fuse together with the bone. When the implant gets placed, it stimulates bone growth. The bone then grows around the implant and fuses together.

How many teeth are on All-on-4 dental implants? ›

Though there are only four implants, it can support ten to fourteen teeth. The implants are surgically placed and immediately on the same day a prosthesis is inserted and connected to the implants. As healing takes place, the implants become part of the jawbone and function as a sturdy foundation for the new teeth.

How much does it cost for full mouth dental implants? ›

Full Mouth Implants

The cost for this type of implant-supported dentures can vary from $7,000 to $90,000. The average cost for full mouth implants is about $34,000. A top or bottom set of dentures can cost about $3,500 to $30,000. Full mouth dental implants are strong and secure.

Do gums grow around implants? ›

As you heal from getting dental implants, your gums will gradually grow around the dental implants to provide support like they do for your natural teeth. However, your dentist will also monitor your gum growth during your healing and recovery process to make sure the gums do not grow over the implant completely.

How risky is dental implant surgery? ›

Risks include: Infection at the implant site. Injury or damage to surrounding structures, such as other teeth or blood vessels. Nerve damage, which can cause pain, numbness or tingling in your natural teeth, gums, lips or chin.

What size implants are most popular? ›

While some patients want to create a dramatically larger, perkier bust, others want to create a more modest, natural-looking bust. In our experience, most women tend to request breast implant sizes between 200cc and 500cc, with 400cc breast implants possibly the most popular.

What is the best age for implants? ›

So when is the right age for an implant? Depends on the patient, but many people should try to avoid placing anterior implants at the age of 18. These studies show that for some people, the best long term esthetics will be achieved if the patient waits until the age of 25 or 30.

How many teeth can you put on one implant? ›

An implant is rarely used to replace multiple teeth on its own, but it can be combined with another to replace up to six teeth. That means an implant on its own can support a max of three artificial teeth.

What is the most natural looking implant? ›

Gummy bear implants are a type of silicone implant made from a form-stable, cohesive gel. Their unique filling material and teardrop shape provide the most natural-looking results of all breast implant options.

What implant looks more natural? ›

Silicone breast implants look the most natural because they have the same weight, bounce, and texture as natural breast tissues. But saline implants necessitate smaller incisions.

What is the safest type of implant? ›

Both saline and silicone implants are generally considered safe if your breast augmentation surgery is performed by a reputable, board certified surgeon. Some believe that saline implants are safer because if the implant ruptures, most of the salt water will reabsorb into the body.

How painful is All-on-4? ›

Is the procedure painful? The procedure is performed under anesthetic, meaning that it could hurt, but you shouldn't feel anything while it's going on. Following the procedure, you may feel sore, and your gums may be inflamed.

Who is not a good candidate for dental implants? ›

But not everyone is a viable candidate for implants, and ironically the reason most often has to do with the bone. If a patient has suffered significant bone volume loss, either because of disease or the long-term absence of the natural teeth, there may not be enough bone to properly support an implant.

What is better than All-on-4? ›

The 3-on-6 method restores a smile by using healthy bone that is already there. Sometimes, bone grafting is used to strengthen the implant area. The 3-on-6 is better than an All-on-4 because you can clean it at home by brushing and flossing. It also doesn't need to be taken out for cleaning.

Who is a good candidate for All-on-4 dental implants? ›

Who is a good candidate for All-on-4®? The best candidates for All-on-4® are people who are missing all of the teeth along the dental ridge or most of their teeth. They should have sufficient jawbone structure and gum tissue in place in order to support the dental implants that are placed.

How many arches are on all in 4 implants? ›

The All-on-4 dental implant technique utilizes only four implants per arch, whereas traditional implants utilize anywhere from six to eight implants, or more, in each arch. The implants of the All-on-4 procedure are also placed at an angle, which allows for increased contact by using the natural support of your bone.

Are dental implants worth it? ›

At a glance, dental implants might seem like a more expensive choice than alternatives. However, not only are they an affordable option but this procedure is ideal in most cases. Dental implants have an incredible success rate of 95%, and they can justify their cost through quality of life and future savings.

What is the recovery time for All-on-4 dental implants? ›

The recovery time varies from patient to patient and depends on multiple factors, including dental structure and lifestyle aspects. However, the general healing timeline is between 3 – 4 weeks for full recovery, though you can resume work and other activities within a few days.

Can you floss all four in implants? ›

Floss: Sometimes your dentist may ask you to use floss on your new dental implants. However, using floss on an All-on-4 bridge may cause injury to the gums if used incorrectly. For certain types of implants, a floss threader may be used to reach difficult areas.

How many dental implants should I get? ›

Even though it's possible to provide full tooth replacement with only four implants in the upper jaw, our implant dentist frequently recommends using six dental implants for additional stability. Two more dental implants are still less than one implant per two missing teeth.

What is the most common type of implant? ›

Endosteal implants are the most common type of dental implant. They are suited for most patients but, they require a good, healthy jawbone for the post to fuse to. They are placeholder posts that are shaped like screws. They put into the jaw that the false teeth are fitted onto.

What is the most common implant? ›

Silicone breast implants are the most popular type. They're made of a silicone shell that contains a semi-solid silicone gel. These are the softest implants on the market and tend to feel more like natural breast tissue.

What is the most widely used medical implants? ›

The most common examples of implantable medical devices include artificial joints, breast implants, cochlear implants, intraocular lenses, pacemakers, other cardiac implants, and intrauterine contraceptive devices.

What are the three main types of dental implants? ›

Three Types of Dental Implants
  • Endosteal Implants. Endosteal implants are the most common type of dental implant and are fused straight onto the jawbone, providing an alternative to permanent dentures or bridges. ...
  • Subperiosteal Implants. ...
  • Mini-Dental Implants.

What they don t tell you about dental implants? ›

Implants Fuse Together with Bone

However, many people don't realize that the reason why dental implants prevent bone loss is that they fuse together with the bone. When the implant gets placed, it stimulates bone growth. The bone then grows around the implant and fuses together.

What is the latest in dental implants? ›

ADVANCES IN Dental Implant Surgery For 2022

Advances in dental implant technology have made it possible in select cases, to extract teeth, and place implants with crowns at one visit. This process, called “immediate loading” greatly simplifies the surgical process and leads to faster healing times.

How do I know if my implants are making me sick? ›

Breast implant illness (BII) is a collection of symptoms that occur in people with breast implants. There isn't an official medical diagnosis for BII. Symptoms may include fatigue, joint pain, brain fog, dry eyes and many other health concerns. Healthcare providers diagnose BII by ruling out other health conditions.

How many teeth can an implant hold? ›

An implant is rarely used to replace multiple teeth on its own, but it can be combined with another to replace up to six teeth. That means an implant on its own can support a max of three artificial teeth.

How much are gummy bear implants? ›

An estimate for the cost of a gummy bear implant is around $6,000. Additional fees include your surgeon, anesthesiologist/ anesthesia, hospital, and a breast augmentation post-operative home care kit you will need following the surgery.

Does Medicare pay for medical implants? ›

No, Original Medicare doesn't provide coverage for dental implants. However, some Medicare Advantage plans do offer some coverage for dental implants, so be sure to review your specific policy before pursuing any procedures.

What is the most common risk of medical implants? ›

The risks of medical implants include surgical risks during placement or removal, infection, and implant failure. Some people also have reactions to the materials used in implants. All surgical procedures have risks. These include bruising at the surgical site, pain, swelling and redness.

What implants are safer? ›

Both saline and silicone implants are generally considered safe if your breast augmentation surgery is performed by a reputable, board certified surgeon. Some believe that saline implants are safer because if the implant ruptures, most of the salt water will reabsorb into the body.

Which is easier upper or lower dental implants? ›

Studies have shown a five-year success rate of approximately 95% for lower jaw implants and 90% for upper jaw implants. The success rate for upper jaw implants is a little lower because the upper jaw is less dense than the lower jaw.

How much do implants cost? ›

First, every case is unique. In general, however, single dental implants cost $1,500 to $2,000 per implant. Not per procedure—but per implant. Some patients are only going to need a single implant, whereas others will need several because they're missing multiple teeth.


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