If you are getting a dental implant, you may be surprised to learn that there are all sorts of brands, shapes, and sizes to choose from depending on your health needs and cosmetic goals. Some dental implants are parallel-sided and the posts have the same dimensions for the entirety of the fixture; other dental implants may be tapered and have a narrower end at the base of the post. There are pros and cons to both fixture types, but here are three reasons why tapered implants can be advantageous.
They Work Well for Immediate Implant Placement
While implant surgery may only take one or two appointments, the entire process can sometimes take patients months if they need bone grafts or if they need to wait for a socket to heal after an extraction. A patient may have a temporary restoration or be without a tooth during this time. If you want to avoid a lengthy process, you may want to opt for immediate loading. During this procedure, a dentist will extract an old tooth and place the implant at the same time. While immediate loading doesn't work for patients with contraindications, like gum disease, it can be a great option for people with good oral hygiene. A tapered implant design can work well for immediate placement, as one study found after 1-year, the implants had a 98.4% survival rate.
They Can Be Helpful for Patients with Poor Bone Density
It's important to have good bone density for implant procedures because the fixture needs to integrate with the jaw bone to last. Some people have lots of cancellous bone, or spongy bone, within their jaw, which isn't strong enough to support the implant. Patients need cortical bone tissue, which is strong and less porous than cancellous bone. One review found that tapered implants could be helpful for people with poor bone density as the implants don't compromise healing/bone formation. Tapered design can compact and create pressure on cortical bone structures, thus providing stability.
They Are Ideal for Patients with Narrow Gaps or Close Roots
If you've been missing a tooth for a while, adjacent teeth may have shifted and narrowed the gap somewhat. While your dentist can construct a false tooth to fill the gap, placing an implant post below the gum line can be tricky since tooth roots may be too close together. In some cases, a dentist might have a patient undergo brief orthodontic work to open up the gap if he or she wants to use a parallel-sided implant. Thankfully, tapered implants can prevent delayed procedures for some people, as the narrowed post can often fit between tooth roots that are too close together.
Reach out to a dentist today for more details about dental implants.