What Does It Mean If Your Dental Surgeon Recommends Subperiosteal Implants?

Posted on: 27 April 2020

Normally when a patient has dental implants put into place, the kind of implants they get are known as endosteal implants. The prefix "endo" means "within," and endosteal implants are implanted within the bone. What does it mean, then, if your dental surgeon instead recommends that you get subperiosteal implants? This is just another type of implant, and it can be a better choice for some patients. Here's what you need to know.

What is a subperiosteal implant?

Instead of being implanted directly into the bone like a screw, a subperiosteal implant is inserted below the periosteum, which is the covering of a bone — in this case, your jaw bone. This type of implant basically looks like a plate; it is fitted over the jaw bone, and the periosteum and gums are sutured over it. An extension off the plate emerges through the gum and is used to attach the crown (false tooth).

Why is this kind of implant being recommended?

Typically, when a subperiosteal implant is recommended over a standard endosteal implant, it is because your dental surgeon feels your jaw bone is not strong enough to support an endosteal implant. If they were to put an endosteal implant in your bone, either the implant would not fuse and stabilize, or your jaw bone might be at risk for cracking and suffering damage.

Jaw bones can be fragile or lacking for a few different reasons. Perhaps you suffer from osteoporosis, and that has left your bones frail. Or maybe you lost the tooth in question a long time ago and that has led to some bone loss and weakening. Whatever the reason, subperiosteal implants are a better choice when your bone is not in the shape it needs to be for the more common endosteal implants.

How hard is the procedure to recover from?

Recovering from having subperiosteal implants put into place is really no different than recovering from any other dental surgery. You will need to stick to soft foods for a few weeks, and your dentist will closely monitor your healing to ensure the bone is "grabbing on" to the implant properly as you heal. You will likely experience some pain, but over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen should bring relief. The crown part of your implant will not be put on for a few months after the procedure, as this gives the implant more time to stabilize. 

To learn more about subperiosteal implants, reach out to an oral surgeon such as those at Center For Oral & Facial Surgery of Memphis PLLC. These implants are not as common, but they can be a good choice for some patients.