A subperiosteal implant is performed when the jaw bone has receded enough that it is unable to sustain a permanent implant. It is placed on top of the bone and embedded in the gums unlike other dental implants whereby the implants are placed on the jaw. This type of implant is used to secure dentures and when the bone has receded and the jaw structure is limited. These implants are used when the width and the height are not enough for the endosteal implant (implant that is implanted directly to the jawbone). It is a metal frame that is placed on the tissue of the gum. It has posts of metal which come out of it. A fusion occurs between the bone and the subperiosteal implant with time. This type of implant is offered as a visible solution for patients who do not have sufficient bone for traditional implants. The lightweight, individually- designed metal framework fits over the remaining bone, providing the equivalent of multiple tooth roots. It can also be used if there are no teeth at all in the mouth or when only some teeth are missing. The implant will be more secure with time as natural bone will grow around it .This type of implant covers a large part of the lower jaw. A modernized subperiosteal dental implant has three feet, one on each side and another in front. In the past, subperiosteal dental implants were made by cutting open the gums of the patient to get the impression of the bone. The patient would then return to the dentist after a month to have the installation of the subperiosteal implant. This surgery is produced in two ways:
- A single surgery: this method involves the dentist arranging a special CAT scan of the jaw bone. This together with advanced computer modeling software will be used to construct a model of the jaw bone.
- Dual surgery method: this involves the removal of the jaw bone under anesthesia in order to take an expression. The model is then taken to the lab and used to create a subperiosteal implant that fits your jaws.
A subperiosteal implant is most ideal in the following situations:
- If one has constant spots that are caused by dentures
- If one is not able to chew food properly
- If the dentures are impossible to wear.