Mini Dental Implants
At University Periodontal Associates, we offer several implant-related solutions for patients with missing teeth. Over the past few decades, dental implants have revolutionized the way we treat tooth loss. Most people prefer dental implants over traditional restorations because they look, feel, and function like your natural teeth. However, some patients do not qualify for conventional implant treatment. If this is the case for you, we may recommend mini dental implants.
What Is a Mini Dental Implant?
A mini dental implant, as the name suggests, is typically half the size of a traditional one. According to the Journal of Oral Implantology, regular dental implants are typically 3.4 to 5.8 millimeters wide, while mini implants are only 1.8 to 3.3 millimeters wide. While they may be half the size, mini dental implants still have the same general structure as regular implants.
Mini implants typically consist of two parts: a titanium post with a ball on end, and a socket with a rubber O-ring. The socket links the titanium post to the restoration, usually a single dental crown.
You may be a suitable candidate for a mini implant if you do not have the proper bone structure to support a traditional implant. If your bone is too thin or too soft, a traditional implant may not successfully attach to the jaw. Mini implants create more opportunities for patients that have experienced bone deterioration due to periodontal disease, trauma, or untreated tooth loss.
Mini Dental Implant Vs. Traditional Dental Implant
A restoration supported by a mini implant will not look any different than one supported by a traditional one. Most implant-supported restorations are fabricated using porcelain or zirconia. Ceramic has unmatched esthetics when it comes to replicating the appearance of a natural tooth. In other words, your new restoration will seamlessly blend in with your surrounding teeth.
Dr. Dennison tends to recommend a mini dental implant when a significant amount of the jaw has to be resorbed into the bloodstream. When you lose a tooth, you lose the physical stimulation that prevents resorption. Both implants and mini implants supplement this stimulation and prevent further deterioration.
The main difference between the two is proven longevity. Studies have shown that traditional implants can last for many decades or even a lifetime with the proper care. Mini implants are relatively new. While we have seen that mini implants last quite a while, there simply is not enough evidence to determine their exact lifespan.
Mini Dental Implants vs. Crown & Bridge
If you do not qualify for regular implants, you have two alternatives: mini implants and traditional replacement options. Mini implants possess many of the same of benefits of regular implants when compared to traditional bridges or partial and complete dentures. A bridge consists of a pontic, or false tooth, that attaches to two dental crowns.
To receive a bridge, the two surrounding teeth must be completely reshaped. This can lead to structural complications later down the line. Mini implants do not affect the adjacent teeth. They can even improve your oral health by preserving the underlying bone. Partial and complete dentures are removable and come with their own set of inconveniences. Because a mini implant becomes a part of you, it can be treated just like a natural tooth. There will be no special adhesives, denture solutions, or discomfort when speaking and chewing!
Questions About Mini Dental Implants?
When it comes to placing dental implants, we are the experts. We can help you determine which tooth replacement solution is the best and create a customized treatment plan just for you.To learn more about mini dental implants, call (832) 975-0990 and schedule your consultation today!