Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants are a less invasive type of dental implant that involves anchoring a titanium post into the gum tissue where a tooth has been lost. Unlike traditional dental implants, this smaller post does not get placed deep into the jawbone. Mini dental implants are often used to secure temporary teeth as traditional implants fuse to the jaw. However, they can also be placed to anchor dentures, offering an alternative solution for those who are not eligible for traditional implants due to poor jawbone quality. When anchoring dentures, the mini implant procedure can provide many of the same benefits as traditional implants.
- When Mini Dental Implants Are Used
- Mini Dental Implants vs. Traditional Dental Implants
- Mini Dental Implant Procedure
- Mini Dental Implant Lifespan
When Are Mini Dental Implants Used?
There are certain cases when mini dental implants are beneficial for replacing lost teeth. Our highly experienced implant dentist, Dr. John D. Beckwith, will thoroughly evaluate each patient to determine if they are an appropriate candidate for mini dental implants. Patients who can typically benefit from mini dental implants identify with one of the following:
- Need to fasten temporary teeth when traditional dental implants are healing.
- Desire a more secure foundation for dentures, but have poor bone volume that grafting and augmentation cannot adequately improve.
Mini Dental Implants vs. Traditional Dental Implants
In many cases, mini implants are used in conjunction with traditional implants, being placed to support the temporary teeth while the traditional implants heal. However, when used to permanently support a denture, mini dental implants have benefits and limitations compared to traditional dental implants. In general, mini dental implants differ from standard implants in the following ways:
- Mini dental implants are placed into the gum tissue with minimal bone contact.
- They cost less than traditional dental implants.
- The process takes less time since osseointegration is not a necessary step.
- Mini implants do not offer the same level of prevention as traditional implants.
- A shorter recovery is usually involved.
Both mini and regular dental implants offer a secure foundation for dentures, preventing slippage and irritation. They can be an effective method for enhancing oral function with results that can last for several years.
What Does the Mini Dental Implants Procedure Entail?
The placement of mini implant-supported dentures is very similar to the procedure for traditional implant-supported dentures. However, instead of requiring three steps, mini dental implants can usually be completed in just one. This entails placing the small titanium rods into the gum tissue, after which the denture can be affixed to the top of the posts to conclude the procedure.
If mini dental implants are being used to affix the temporary teeth after traditional implant surgery, this will be performed once the full-sized implant posts are in position. The mini implants will then be placed into the gum tissue to provide a foundation for the temporary teeth. Once the traditional implants have fused to the jawbone, the mini dental implants can be removed, and the permanent restoration will be placed.
How Long Do Mini Dental Implants Last?
If mini dental implants are placed to support the temporary teeth after the traditional dental implant procedure, they are typically in place for three to six months—the amount of time it takes for the titanium implant to fuse to the jawbone. When mini implants are acting as the final support for a denture, they can be a long-lasting solution. Every patient has a different experience, and the longevity of your implants cannot be guaranteed.
To learn more about mini dental implants and if you are a candidate for the procedure, please contact Cornerstone Dental to schedule an appointment with Dr. Beckwith for your evaluation.