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Dental Implants: Are They for Me?

By Thomas D. Taylor, D.D.S., M.S.D., and William R. Laney, D.M.D., M.S.

What Are the Types of Implants?

Click on images for detailed views.

There are three types of implants, and they can be described according to their shape and how they are attached to the jaw.

Image showing the typical components of endosseous implants ENDOSSEOUS (en-doss-ee-us)-“within the bone”
These implants are usually shaped like a screw or cylinder and are made either of metal, metal covered with ceramic, or ceramic material. They are placed within the jawbone. There are also blade-shaped endosseous implants.

Image showing the typical components of subperiosteal implants SUBPERIOSTEAL (sub-pear-ee-oss-tee-al)-“on top of the bone”
These implants consist of a metal framework that attaches on top of the jawbone but underneath the gum tissue.

Image showing the typical components of transosteal implants TRANSOSTEAL (trans-oss-tee-al)-“through the bone”
These implants are either a metal pin or a U-shaped frame that passes through the jawbone and the gum tissue, into the mouth.


The dental specialist or general dentist chooses the type, size, and design of dental implant. This choice is made according to where the implant will be placed, what kind of bone and how much bone is available, and the design of the tooth or teeth that will be supported by the implant(s). Your dentist will determine which type is best suited to your needs.


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