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Dental Implant Types – The 3 Classifications explained

If you are considering an implant-based tooth restoration but feel a tad confused by the various dental implant types, don’t worry because we’ve got your back! In this post, we’ll talk about the three main types, what they are, and when they’re used. So let’s get started.

Type #1 – Endosteal dental implants

When we talk about dental implants in general, we’re really talking about endosteal implants. An endosteal dental implant is by far the most common type, and the term literally means ‘to anchor down into bone or cartilage’. If you’ve ever read any literature on dental implants, you’ll know that when there is any mention of an implant procedure, they are describing endosteal implants – a metal post or screw being anchored directly into the jawbone at the missing tooth site. 

Endosteal implants are suitable for most patients, but the only stipulation is that they must have adequate healthy bone for the implant to survive and thrive. Ultimately, this means some patients must undergo a bone grafting procedure to build up the bone mass before placing an endosteal dental implant. This will add time and cost to the dental implant process.

Endosteal implants can come in many different guises, including conventional implants, mini implants and all-on-4 appliances. Still, to make it easy, any dental implant types that are secured by being placed directly into the jawbone are classified as ‘endosteal’ appliances.   

Type #2 Subperiosteal implants   

If endosteal implants are among the most common dental implant types, subperiosteal varieties are less so. They are sometimes referred to as ‘on-plants’ because they sit under the gum but above or ‘on’ the jawbone. For a subperiosteal implant to work, a metal frame is carefully placed under the gum with the implant post attached.

teeth implants types sydney In turn, the gum grows around the framework to hold it in place. The restoration tooth or teeth are then secured to the posts that protrude from the gum. 

The main advantage of subperiosteal restorations in implant dentistry is that because the implant is not anchored into the jaw bone, it’s less important whether the patient has sufficient bone density, so no bone grafting is necessary. 


The main disadvantage is that because the structure is not supported deep in the bone, it doesn’t provide the strength and, therefore, the biting capability of an endosteal implant. Nevertheless, a subperiosteal dental implant does give a better-fixed solution to conventional long-term dentures.

Type #3 – Zygomatic implants

Sometimes, when patients have experienced severe bone loss, there may be little or no chance of finding sufficient bone or gum to support a ‘conventional’ style of dental implant. Therefore, as is the progressive nature of implant dentistry, a third dental implant type was invented – the zygomatic implant. 

Zygomatic implants are so-called because they are secured via the zygoma (cheekbone) rather than anchored into diminishing jaw bone. Because the cheekbone does not atrophy, there is always an ample supply of bone. 

tooth implant types sydneyIn truth, placing zygomatic dental implants is a unique skill that not many dentists in Sydney currently practice.

For instance, zygomatic implants are considerably longer than conventional implants and may need to travel through the sinus cavity.

As such, positioning must be pinpoint and accurate to avoid problems like induced sinusitis, oroantral fistulas, or even orbital penetration. 


That said, of all the dental implant types, zygomatic implants represent the last hope for those patients facing severe tooth and bone loss to get a set of fully functioning, permanent fixed teeth.

Dental implant types – A final summary

Hopefully, we’ve covered all the bases when it comes to the main types of dental implants, but if it’s still a little hazy, here’s a quick recap

  • There are three main types of dental implants, endosteal, subperiosteal and zygomatic. Endosteal is by far the most common implant type, making up the bulk of all dental implants placed, and is typically what we think about when we discuss a dental implant procedure.
  • For those who don’t have sufficient bone to anchor an endosteal implant into, implant dentistry offers a second type – subperiosteal implants. These consist of a framework placed underneath the gum but on top of the bone. The framework is supported as the gum grows back over it. While subperiosteal dental implants don’t require ample bone to function, therefore negating the need for bone grafting, they are not as strong as endodontic implants anchored directly into the bone.
  • Zygomatic implants are the final implant type and utilise the zygoma (cheekbone) instead of the jawbone to anchor teeth. However, because the implants themselves are considerably longer, they require a unique skill to fit them, as many problems can occur if they are not placed accurately. As such, this is not a treatment that your typical family dentist would perform.  

tooth implants types sydneyAs you can see, modern implant dentistry doesn’t fail to disappoint, and there are dental implant types to suit all needs. So it’s good to know what they are, who they’re for and how they work so that you have good knowledge of your available options when the time comes. 

Of course, if you want to learn more about dental implants and how they apply to your specific case, we invite you to talk to No Gaps Dental. 

With over 15 convenient locations across the Sydney Metro area, finding an implant dentist to help restore your smile couldn’t be easier. Simply, visit our website, find your ideal clinic of choice and book an appointment. All our No Gaps Dentists are highly experienced and ready to talk about your case and, indeed, your suitability. 

Remember, you shouldn’t have to put up with long-term tooth loss. Instead, come and talk to a No Gaps dentist and discuss your implant options. Moreover, because we’re a multi-clinic company, we can keep our prices low without compromising quality.            


Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.


References: – What You Need To Know About A Dental Bone Graft 

Science Direct – Subperiosteal Implant,gingival%20tissue%20for%20prosthesis%20anchorage 

FOR.Org – Zygomatic Implants 

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