Dental implants help many people regain their confidence and smiles by replacing missing teeth permanently. They consist of titanium implants inserted into the jawbone beneath the gum tissue, which serve as an anchor for artificial teeth. A market research study reported by Transparency Market Research covers three types of dental implants: transosteal implant, endosteal and subperiosteal. The report shows that the market for dental implants is growing globally, based on the increasing elderly population needing dental work combined with a higher disposable income from emerging economies. What are transosteal implants, and why are they unpopular in the United States?
Anatomy of the Implant
This type of implant is used only in the mandible or lower jaw. Metal pins or a U-shaped metal frame are inserted upward through the alveolar sockets and the bone, followed by positioning of the teeth on top. If pins are used, they are stabilized with a metal plate located on the underside of the jaw to create the U-shape needed for stability. The term "transosteal" means "through the bone" and differentiates this type of implant from the subperiosteal (positioned on top of the bone) and the endosteal (inserted within the bone).
Why These Aren't Used Now
The transosteal implant was first introduced in 1953 and was available in two models, both of which made use of the metal base plate design. Transosteal implants have a less impressive rate of success in the long term and complications have resulted in it no longer being used, according to a Boston University dissertation. "Implant survival" means the device still exists in position in the mouth, while "implant success" is based on performance against these criteria:
- The implant moves less than 1 mm in any direction.
- The patient has lost less than one-third of the bone's vertical height.
- No signs exist of infection or damage to nearby teeth or the surrounding tissues.
- The implant functions well for a minimum of five years.
Complications experienced by patients with these implants include gingival hyperplasia, infection at the implant site, and loss of the crestal bone that supports the teeth, says the University of Minnesota. In addition, the procedure causes a fair amount of pain for patients and may result in unsightly scarring of the area where the patient had surgery.
Existing Transosteal Implants
Patients with existing transosteal implants should begin by getting a professional medical evaluation of the success of their implant by their dental specialist. If they have no problems, then an optimal oral hygiene routine is the best thing to do to obtain a healthy mouth. This includes twice daily brushing, daily flossing and swishing with a mouthwash, such as Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield, which provides 12-hour protection against germs even after drinking and eating.
Transosteal implants were once considered a breakthrough in dental science, but they have now been replaced by endosteal implants. These are inserted using a procedure designed to avoid the problems experienced to date, and to give patients a much higher rate of success and confidence.