Mini Dental Implants
For people who are missing teeth but are not ideal candidates for conventional dental implants, mini dental implants may be a realistic option. People who are trying to avoid the potentially invasive surgery required for traditional implants and other people who do not have enough bone mass in their jaw bones to support the implants may want to consider mini dental implants instead.
Missing teeth can be replaced by dentures, bridges, or dental implants. Each option comes with its own benefits, issues, costs. Bridges and dentures are on the gum’s surface and either use surrounding teeth or gums to stay in place. For people trying to avoid slipping or shifting replacement teeth and who want the strength of natural teeth, dental implants are an ideal solution. The dentist will place a surgical post into the gums that will fuse with the jaw bone. After the post heals into place, the dentist will add an abutment for the false tooth to attach to the post. In order to ensure the success of the dental implant, you will need to have a healthy enough jaw bone to support the implant.
Mini Dental Implants
Structurally, mini dental implants are the same as traditional implants. Regular implants are 3.4 to 5.8 mm wide and mini implants are 1.8 to 3.3 mm wide. Mini implants are composed of two pieces; one of them is a titanium post like traditional implants. The post has a ball on the end where a socket with a rubber o-ring attaches the false tooth to the post. In fact, mini implants can replace most missing teeth. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry recommends mini implants are helpful in securing loose and lower arch dentures that struggle to stay in place. Other dentists use mini implants to anchor bridges, fixed crowns and even dentures.
Mini Implant Options
When reviewing the differences between regular and mini implants, you will need to consider how long you are willing to wait for your replacement tooth. Regular implants will require at least two appointments and months of healing. Depending on the health of your mouth, you may need additional procedures to prepare for a regular implant. Some people will need bone grafting in order to have enough bone strength to support the implant. For people who are not able to undergo the invasive procedure, don’t have the time for multiple appointments, or who do not have enough bone mass for a regular implant even after a bone graft, mini implants are less invasive and have a faster turnaround time. Most of the time, dentists can place mini implants in one appointment with just a local anesthetic. You will be able to leave the office without sutures and the ability to use your new teeth on the same day!
Caring for Mini Implants
Just like regular implants and natural teeth, your mini implants will need to be brushed and flossed. After the procedure and your gums are sensitive, you should use an extra soft-bristled toothbrush to maintain your oral hygiene.