Prosthetics on dental implants: what are they and what types are there?

The lack of one or more teeth means not only an alteration in the aesthetics of the person, but also changes in the function of the mouth that must be resolved. Dentures on dental implants are an alternative to replace those lost teeth that many patients consider for their comfort and stability.

These types of dentures are characterized by being held and held in place by dental implants. These titanium screws are inserted into the jawbone or jawbone. Due to its biocompatibility, the metal is integrated into the bone tissue, thus serving as a support point for a crown or a larger prosthesis.

In this article we will tell you what type of implant prostheses exist and in which cases they are useful. Also how is this treatment performed and what are its advantages.

Types of prosthetics on dental implants and their benefits

The prostheses on dental implants are structures that contain artificial teeth that replace the lost ones, anchoring themselves to dental implants inserted in the jaws. They differ from conventional dentures because they are held in position, not only by their relationship to the gum, but also by these metal screws that are placed in the bone.

There are many benefits that these dentures provide to the patient who chooses them as a means to rehabilitate his mouth:

  • Stability: they usually have no or low mobility. The patient can speak and chew without the prosthesis loosening or moving, even eating hard, sticky food.
  • Comfort: By having a good fit and less friction with the mucosa, the patient gets used to the presence of the teeth and can exercise oral functions naturally.
  • Bone preservation: the presence of implants in the bone tissue and the reception of stimuli generated by the prosthesis help to retain the bone mass and prevent bone loss.
  • Naturalness: It is the rehabilitation method most similar to the dental structure, since it returns the coronary portion of the teeth and also the root part by having a sector within the bone.
  • Function recovery: the patient recovers the chewing, speech and swallowing functions altered by the lack of teeth. The aesthetic aspect of the smile is also returned.
  • Many possibilities for each particular case: there are different prostheses on dental implants. They vary, for example, according to the possibility of the patient to remove it by himself or not. Also according to the number of teeth that need to be replaced.

Dental implants involve the presence of a biosynthetic material in the jawbone.

Fixed prostheses

They are dental prostheses that are fixed cemented or screwed to several osseointegrated implants arranged on the bone. As the name implies, the patient cannot remove them.

They replace the dental elements of the maxilla or mandible using a reduced number of implants. These are arranged in areas of the maxilla specially chosen to support the structure and fulfill the same biomechanical functions as the roots of natural teeth.

They are smaller than traditional dentures, They are only made up of the dental part, without pink gums like the rest of the prostheses. In general, 8 implants are used for the upper jaw and 4 for the mandible, but it depends on each clinical case.

Its design is personalized according to the needs of the patient and their possibilities, being able to use different materials. The most common are made of metal and ceramic, with a finish similar to porcelain.

At present also those made of zirconia are used, a hard ceramic that is very resistant and gives a natural appearance. Being composed only of teeth that are screwed or cemented on the implants, they are almost imperceptible and very comfortable for the patient.


Overdentures are a type of prosthesis on dental implants similar to the usual dentures, with the difference that they use these screws in the bone as anchors. This strong union of the denture with the implants integrated to the bone gives the person security and comfort when chewing and speaking.

Fewer number of implants are used than for a fixed prosthesis. In general, only 4 for the upper jaw and 2 or 3 in the mandible are sufficient. For this reason it is an ideal alternative for patients with loss of bone tissue.

Anchor systems are screwed onto the implants into which the denture will be inserted when it is placed. Through this special system the person can put it in and take it out, but having a much greater retention. The patient can remove them and put them on himself to sanitize them after eating, for example.


This type of denture uses as support the support offered by the implants and also that provided by the mucosa of the gum. It is screwed to the implants and can only be removed by the dentist.

They are composed of the dental portion and a part of pink gums, thus replacing lost teeth and soft tissues. It is indicated to those patients who present a remarkable bone resorption. 6 implants are used in the upper jaw and 4 in the lower jaw.

Unlike fixed prostheses, they are made of acrylic or composites state-of-the-art, like conventional dentures, so they look more artificial. In any case, they provide aesthetics, safety and comfort to the person.

According to the number of teeth

There is another classification of prostheses on dental implants according to the number of teeth to be replaced. Is the next:

  • Unitary: They are those that replace a single missing tooth. It is a single artificial tooth that is fixed to an implant, restoring aesthetics and natural harmony to the mouth.
  • Partial: They are prostheses that replace several teeth in a fixed way.
  • Totals: These are dentures that replace all the teeth in the mouth, in one or both arches. They are used in people who no longer have their own teeth. They can be fixed, removable or hybrid, depending on the choice of one or the other according to each case.

Read also: Dental bridge: types, benefits and disadvantages

How is the proccess?

Planning and placing a prosthesis on dental implants is a long and slow process. The previous diagnostic phase and the implant healing phase should be considered.

It is necessary to begin with a full diagnostic period, with extensive clinical and radiographic studies prior to placement. This allows knowing the thickness and quality of bone that is available to hold the screws.

What's more, the type of prosthesis to be used is chosen according to the clinical case. Based on this, the number of implants to be placed and the location of each one will be determined. In some cases, a bone graft is necessary to increase the thickness of the tissue that will receive the screws.

After all of the above, it is time to place the implants in the bone. It is a surgery under local anesthesia in which the dentist inserts the screws into the bone tissue.

It takes 2 to 6 months for the implant titanium to bond to the bone, forming a strong bond to bear the load of the dentures. Depending on the type of prosthesis to be used, a second surgery may be necessary to uncover the implants and place extensions or locators. During that time the patient can temporarily wear immediate dentures.

When the implants are ready, with their specific connection devices for the type of prosthesis to be used, they are sent to be made. Once they are manufactured and tested, they are placed in the patient's mouth.

They are cemented or screwed in the case of fixed and hybrid prostheses. In the case of overdentures, the professional teaches the patient how to put them in and take them out. What's more, the care and precautions to consider for the correct use are indicated to the patient of your new prosthesis.

Planning the procedure is essential for its success, as it is a long way to go with different phases.

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Who are dental implant prostheses recommended for?

Prostheses on dental implants are indicated to recover those lost teeth. for different reasons. They are used in patients who do not have their teeth in the maxilla or mandible or in both arches and who have moderate bone loss.

They are ideal for those who are not comfortable with the usual dentures, mainly because of discomfort or fear that they will come off. Thus, self-esteem problems are avoided, increasing the patient's confidence.

Care and advice for dentures on dental implants

Dentures on dental implants are a more permanent solution that helps people with missing teeth to chew, eat, talk and smile with confidence and confidence. Regardless of the type that is chosen, its maintenance and care is vital for the success of the rehabilitation.

Brushing your teeth, tongue and gums with a soft bristle brush is unavoidable. Supplementing with mouthwashes is sometimes necessary.

In the case of overdentures, removal and cleaning of the denture after meals is also essential. When not in use they should be placed in a glass of clean water in a safe place.

Regular visits to the dentist also help to ensure that everything is going well. Thus, with prosthetics on dental implants used responsibly, it is possible to smile, eat and speak with confidence again.