Subperiosteal implants can be substituted for the function of the jawbone for some dental procedures. They’re often used for those who want or need dental implants but have an inadequate amount of bone to support an endosteal post.
Rather than being installed directly into the jawbone like endosteal implants, a subperiosteal implant uses a metal frame that’s placed between the jawbone and the gum but underneath the periosteum. The periosteum is the thin layer of tissue between the gum and the jawbone. The subperiosteal implant is placed on top of the bone but under the gum tissue. Since the implant rests atop the jawbone rather than being installed into it, the amount of jawbone present or the shape of the jaw is irrelevant.
Healing time for subperiosteal implants is usually shorter than it is for endosteal implants. However, the surgical procedure time is about the same, and they require approximately the same number of office visits.
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Before Subperiosteal Implant
When is a Subperiosteal Implant Recommended?
A subperiosteal implant is commonly recommended for a patient who has an eroded jawbone and has lost all or the majority of their back teeth. This procedure is used only for the rear teeth. It’s not used for the front teeth. Since the implant is a metal structure that lies atop the jawbone and under the gum, it provides the support needed for an implant without further compromising the structural integrity of an already-damaged jawbone.
Some patients receive subperiosteal implants due to bone loss from thyroid issues, calcium deficiency, or advanced age. Sometimes, the lack of bone is from a hereditary condition; it’s not always due to inadequate oral hygiene.
Subperiosteal implants are most often used for the back teeth, not the front teeth. Like endosteal implants, subperiosteal implants will fuse to your jawbone through a process known as osseointegration, so your implant will have a very stable base. Like an endosteal implant, it will stay in place, and you won’t have to worry about it moving or slipping.
Those who have a shallow jawbone may not be good candidates for endosteal implants, so many times, subperiosteal implants are used instead. As long as you’re in good overall health and have no contraindications, then you should be a good candidate for a subperiosteal implant. When you come to our office for your initial consultation, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums and advise you of the feasibility of a subperiosteal implant.
Who is a Good Candidate for Subperiosteal Implants?
Subperiosteal implants are commonly recommended for patients who need dental implants but lack sufficient jawbone to accommodate the endosteal post. Young children or those whose teeth are still developing aren’t usually good candidates for the subperiosteal implant procedure because of the difficulty in making a frame that will adjust as they grow.
Subperiosteal implants are often recommended for those whose jawbone is no longer developing but can’t provide the structural support for an endosteal implant, regardless of the reason for the lack of jawbone. However, if the jawbone has deteriorated due to disease, such as periodontal disease, then patients should improve their oral hygiene efforts so that the procedure is successful.
During Subperiosteal Implant
How does a Subperiosteal Implant work?
If a patient needs a dental implant, it’s customarily installed through the use of an endosteal implant. This is a metal screw that’s surgically installed into the jawbone and, over time, becomes part of the jawbone through a process known as osseointegration. When an individual lacks sufficient jawbone to support the screw or if they have a very shallow jawbone, then a dentist can install a metal frame — called a subperiosteal implant — between the jawbone and gums. The implants are then attached to the metal frame.
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What is the Subperiosteal Implant procedure?
The subperiosteal procedure will require several office visits and can span as long as several months, depending on your rate of healing and the complexity of your procedure. However, when you come to our office for the subperiosteal implant procedure, you’ll experience the following:
. During your first appointment, we’ll either make a small incision in your gums or take a CT scan of your bone so that we can fabricate the metal frame and have it fit correctly.
. When your frame is ready, you’ll return to our office for the installation procedure.
. We’ll cleanse the area and apply a topical anesthetic.
. Your dentist will then make a small incision in your gums at the site where the implant frame will be installed.
. They’ll drill down into the gum tissue but not into the jawbone.
. The metal frame will be installed and adjusted, if necessary.
. The gums are then sutured closed.
. When the gums have healed, the implant posts will be installed onto the frame so that a dental prosthetic can be placed.
. You may be given a temporary crown or bridge to wear in the interim until your permanent prosthetic has been fabricated.
Installation of the frame will provide the necessary support for those whose jawbone isn’t capable of supporting an endosteal post. We’ll advise you of the approximate time your procedure will take when you come in for your first appointment.
After Subperiosteal Implant
What are the aftercare instructions for the subperiosteal procedure?
Each patient will recover at a slightly different rate, but in general, you can expect to experience mild to moderate pain in the incision area for a few days. Usually, you can manage the pain with over-the-counter pain medications. Smoking can increase the risk of procedure failure, so you should avoid using any form of tobacco before and after the procedure.
You may experience some swelling in your jaw on the side of the procedure, and it may last for up to five days. Use ice packs and ibuprofen to reduce the swelling and help alleviate the pain. We recommend that you take a couple of days off work and avoid strenuous activity.
You should eat only soft foods for several days and avoid hard, greasy, or sharp foods. Make sure to maximize your oral hygiene so that an infection doesn’t set in. The site needs to be kept very clean, so make sure that you have some antibacterial mouthwash or rinse your mouth well with warm salt water.
How long will my Subperiosteal Implant take to heal?
Typically, it takes up to six months for the subperiosteal implant site to completely heal, but each patient is unique. Your recovery may be somewhat longer or shorter.