Sometimes when we lose teeth, our jaws lack the bone density needed to hold a traditional dental implant. Other times, we are unavailable or ineligible as a candidate for invasive oral surgery. Regardless of your situation, if you are unable to receive a conventional implant, you still have options!
Mini dental implants may be smaller than traditional implants but they are still just as effective. If anything, mini dental implants may even be a better option. Before going through implant surgery, speak with one of our dental experts to find out if you could benefit from a mini dental implant.
If you are unfamiliar with the procedure or need more information about mini dental implants, continue reading to find out how they differ from standard implants, what they are made from, the benefits of an MDIS, and some of the outcomes of this procedure.
You can also speak with one of our professionals at Fairfield Oral Surgery for more advice!
Dental Implants vs Mini Dental Implants
Although functionally the same, traditional and mini dental implants are a little different. Let’s take a look at how they compare and also at how they contrast.
Dental implants are offered to patients who have lost adult teeth and would like to permanently replace them. They’re often given as a second option to dentures and bridgework or may be inserted as a mount to hold a denture in place.
Oral surgeons drill dental implants directly into the jawbone using two external screws that measure anywhere from 3 to 5 millimeters. However, if you suffer from low bone density, your surgeon may recommend against traditional dental implants, as they can lead to further loss of bone mass.
Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants are functionally the same as a traditional dental implant:
- They permanently replace missing teeth
- They are screwed into the jawbone
- They have a similar structure
However, mini dental implants are much smaller than their conventional twins. Rather than using two external screws, mini implants are inserted using a single screw that measures less than 3 millimeters in diameter. Additionally, they have a small ball at the end of the screw that helps mount false teeth.
What Are Mini Dental Implants Made Of?
Dental implants, both large and small, are made of two parts—an implanted titanium post and artificial teeth. However, there are a few other materials your surgeon will use through the process:
- Titanium screws
- Calcium phosphate spray to boost osseointegration (new bone growth around the implant)
- An O-ring to support the artificial teeth
- A nylon, metal, or acrylic artificial tooth
Your dentist or oral surgeon will speak to you beforehand about which type of artificial tooth you prefer.
How Mini Dental Implants Are Placed
Compared to traditional dental implants, you can have a mini dental implant inserted in a single sitting. The procedure is far less invasive, meaning you won’t have to deal with general anesthesia or sutures and the wounds will heal more quickly than with a larger implant.
The full procedure goes as follows:
- Your dentist will examine your mouth
- They will then apply a local anesthetic to the area
- Small millimeter wide holes are drilled down into your jaw
- Each implant requires one hole
- Titanium implants are tightened into place
- A prosthetic bridge is then inserted onto the implant
Before your procedure, your dentist will take a mold of your mouth to prepare an artificial tooth that fits the implant. If your jawbone does not accept the implant at first, you may require follow-up surgery to place bone grafts after the procedure.
Benefits Of Mini Dental Implants
Compared to their larger cousins, mini dental implants allow you the freedom to:
- Replace a missing tooth even if you cannot undergo a full surgery
- Finish the procedure in a single session
- Recover sooner after the procedure since no other procedures such as bone grafts or sinus lifts are needed.
- Avoid the heftier cost of traditional implants
Thanks to these benefits, more and more patients are switching to mini implants and we expect to see them grow in popularity.
Outcomes And Aftercare
After surgery, avoid drinking alcohol or smoking if you are a smoker. Once your implant has healed, you will have to take care of the artificial tooth just as you would a normal tooth.
Brush twice a day and floss before bed. Additionally, your dentist may recommend a few fluoride treatments to strengthen the area.
Remember, an implant is a permanent solution so, with the proper care, it should last from 20 to 30 years. If you suspect any problems, contact one of our professionals here at Fairfield Oral Surgery.
If you are missing a tooth and want to replace it but don’t have the bone density to support a full dental implant, mini implants are still an option! They are quicker, smaller, and less invasive, making them the ideal solution for your dental problems.
Contact Fairfield Oral Surgery for more information or to schedule a consultation with one of our oral specialists.