Mini dental implants and regular implants are similar in all aspects besides size. Compared to conventional implants, mini dental implants are smaller. Mini dental implants have two parts- a ball-shaped end for attaching artificial tooth/ teeth to a single piece screw implanted in the jawbone. While traditional dental implants are made of two pieces, the mini dental implant has a single piece with a lesser diameter compared to the traditional 3.5-5 millimeters. The use of Mini dental implants is often common where an individual cannot have conventional implants placed because of the following reason:
- One cannot undergo invasive surgery
- One does not have enough jaw to support full-sized implants
- One does not have enough time for frequent dental visits
Mini implants can be used to replace most types of teeth literally. They provide a better alternative when compared to fixed crowns, bridges, and dentures. The mini dental implants are made of titanium to ensure that they integrate with the body. Once they are implanted into the jaw, they mimic the natural tooth movement and become permanently fused to the jaw bone.
Placing Mini Dental Implants
Placing mini dental implants involves a less invasive surgery compared to traditional implants. For this reason, mini dental implants are gaining popularity amongst many people, and their cost may likely rise into the future. Unlike in conventional surgery, where dentists place implants under the gums, these small-sized implants are placed over the gum surface. For mini dental implants, a dentist will require less time, and they can be placed in one visit. A dentist will need local anesthesia only to complete the procedure.
The mini dental implant procedure
You must understand the procedure when considering mini dental implants to make the right decision. Remember that just like in traditional dental implants, the tooth/ teeth are not attached immediately after the surgery.
The dentist must first study your x-ray pictures to determine where to attach the titanium post. In a mini dental implant, the titanium is inserted under the gums to hold the tooth/teeth to the jawbone. The dentist will drill a small hole in the gum using a pilot drill before inserting the mini dental implants. The dentist attaches the mini dental implant to the titanium post via a ball and socket joint process. The process does not require an additional metal piece, which is common in traditional implants. Before placing the tooth, the titanium post will remain to protrude above the gums. The dentist will then use O-rings to firmly attach your new tooth/teeth to the titanium post.
You will overly avoid hard and sticky foods in the initial week after your mini dental implant surgery. Stick to soft foods to hasten the healing process. Caring for your mini dental implants should not be any different from caring for natural teeth.
These implants look natural and last long, like natural tooth/teeth.
Pros of Mini Dental Implants
- Less complex flap surgery- As the name suggests, mini dental implants are small and can be placed without a complex flap surgery
- Less Invasive and less discomforting surgical procedure- placing mini dental implants require a simpler surgery when compared to traditional implants. With local anesthesia, a dentist can place the implants and prosthetic tooth/teeth within hours. The healing process is faster mainly because the procedure involves less bone and tissue disturbance.
- No need for bone graft- mini dental implants are often smaller than traditional implants. As a result, there is no need for a bone graft, saving you from the costly bone grafts.
- Convenient and comfortable- placing mini dental implants requires minimal dental visits. You can place mini dental implants and normally eat a few hours later. Unlike dentures, you comfortably eat or talk without the risk of artificial tooth/teeth slipping.
- Fewer Complications: with mini dental implants, the risk of post-surgery complications is minimal.
- Prevent Facial collapse- the main reason for having dental implants is to prevent facial collapse. Mini dental implants, you can get immediate dental restoration. Besides, they have often been used for denture stabilization.
Cons of Mini Dental Implants
- They Require a Vertical Jaw Bone- a jaw with inadequate jaw bone cannot support mini dental implants. It may be impossible to support where there exists extreme bone loss.
- Teeth Grinding- anyone that grinds their teeth regularly cannot be a good candidate for mini dental implants. Grinding your teeth may gradually wear mini dental implants prematurely.