Mini Dental Implants
Missing teeth can make it difficult to eat comfortably, enunciate clearly, and smile with confidence. Fortunately, dental implants and restorations can replace missing teeth and restore the structural integrity of your smile. For patients who do not qualify for traditional dental implants due to jawbone atrophy, mini implants provide an excellent alternative. Mini dental implants are smaller in diameter and do not require as much jawbone tissue for support. These posts can create a solid foundation for restorations without the need for a preliminary bone graft or sinus lift.
The Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth
Normally, the jawbone receives stimulation from the tooth roots with actions like chewing and biting. However, once a tooth is lost or extracted, the jawbone is no longer stimulated and can begin to deteriorate. Bone atrophy can result in more widespread tooth loss and shifting teeth, as well as structural changes to the face. Dental implants act as artificial tooth roots and stimulate the jawbone, preserving its structure.
Minis vs. Traditional Dental Implants
Traditional dental implants consist of two pieces, a post and an abutment, or connector device. They range in diameter from 3.5 to 6mm. Implant posts are surgically inserted into the jawbone, where they bond with nearby tissue. Once the gums heal, the implants are uncovered and the abutment is attached. As posts are supported by the jawbone, you must have sufficient jawbone density and volume. However, bone loss is common after tooth loss, and not everyone qualifies for traditional dental implants.
Mini dental implants can support restorations and renew dental function without the need for a preliminary bone graft or sinus lift.
Mini dental implants are smaller in form, ranging from 2mm to 3.5mm in diameter. Unlike traditional implants, minis are a solid one-piece screw. A mini implant features a post and a ball-shaped connector device, which sits above the gum line. Due to their size and composition, dentists can often place mini implants in a single appointment.
Explore Your Candidacy
If you are not eligible for bone grafting or simply wish to avoid more extensive surgery, you may be a good candidate for mini dental implants. To qualify, you should have good oral health and be free from periodontal disease. Although the procedure is not as complex as that of traditional dental implants, surgery is still required. You must be healthy enough to undergo surgery, without conditions that may compromise your rate of healing. You may also wish to pursue dental implants if you are looking for a more permanent tooth replacement solution. While restorations will need to be replaced due to normal wear and tear, dental implants are designed to last a lifetime.
The Mini Dental Implants Procedure
Mini dental implants can often be placed using only local anesthetic and without sutures. If you are especially nervous about undergoing treatment, you may also elect to receive deeper forms of sedation. Nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and intravenous (IV) medication are all safe and reliable options. Once you are comfortable, your dentist can carefully insert the implants into your jawbone. Impressions of your smile will be taken, and these will be used to manufacture your restorations. In many cases, a temporary can be attached immediately after surgery. When your final prosthesis is ready, you can return for placement.
What Do Mini Dental Implants Cost?
As the procedure is less complex and typically requires fewer visits to the office, the cost is often lower than that of traditional implants. However, there are several factors that can affect the cost of mini implants, including the number of implants placed, the dentist’s experience, and the materials used. Many insurance companies will cover part or all of the cost of dental implants. However, many dental offices also offer financing options to help cover out-of-pocket expenses.
Caring for Mini Dental Implants
Caring for mini dental implants is much like caring for natural teeth. You should floss daily, brush at least twice a day, and rinse with an dentist-recommended mouthwash. It is not uncommon for gum sensitivity to persist for the first few months. Use gentle brushing techniques and a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritating your gums or disrupting the implants. You should also be sure and visit the dentist for any follow-up appointments and routine cleanings. Checkups can help maintain healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime.