Written on Tuesday, Oct 20, 2020
Author: Chris Whitfield
For patients wanting to replace lost teeth, mini dental implants provide a possible option. These types of implants work well for many who cannot receive or do not want conventional restorations. They work particularly well for those not wanting to undergo invasive oral surgery. They also provide a solution for those without enough bone mass in their jaws to hold standard implants.
When you have missing teeth, you can have them replaced with dentures, bridges or dental implants. Dentures and bridges are tooth replacement appliances that sit on the gum surface. Dental implants, on the other hand, are permanently affixed through the gums and into the jawbone.
To surgically place regular dental implants, your oral surgeon or periodontist inserts a titanium post into the jaw bone. Over a period of about three to six months, the jaw bone fuses around the post. Once this happens, the surgeon uncovers the implant and attaches a smaller post to it. On this post, they attach artificial teeth.
For some wearers, dentures are known to shift and slip a little. But dental implants remain steady and stable. To qualify for a dental implant, you need enough healthy bone to hold the implant in place. Some patients must first receive bone grafts through surgery to build up enough bone mass.
Mini dental implants work much like standard implants. But the mini version is slightly smaller, as their name implies. They have two parts, a titanium post with a ball on its tip and a socket where the tooth attaches to the post using a rubber O-ring.
Regular dental implants measure 3.4 to 5.8 millimeters wide. By comparison, mini dental implants measure only 1.8 to 3.3 millimeters wide and 10 to 15 millimeters long.
Mini dental implants work well with most types of teeth replacements, including dentures, fixed crowns and bridges. They also hold loose and lower arch dentures in place, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.
The process of placing regular dental implants takes several months. You must also visit the dentist or oral surgeon at least twice. If you need bone grafts to provide adequate bone to support your titanium posts, these treatments add to the required visits. For some patients, this process works fine.
Some patients do not have enough jaw bone mass to support full-sized implant posts. Others are unable to go through invasive oral surgery and multiple dental visits as part of the standard implant process. Both of these situations are quite normal.
In either scenario, your dentist can possibly install mini dental implants to replace your missing teeth. This procedure only requires one visit and local anesthesia. It does not require any sutures. Even more importantly, you can immediately use your new teeth.
You take care of your mini dental implants the same way as you care for your natural teeth. You simply brush your teeth twice daily using fluoride toothpaste. Also, you floss once each day to remove plaque from between teeth and along the gum line.
Most people feel a little self-conscious or embarrassed by natural tooth loss. For some, losing teeth feels traumatic. It can affect your smile, how you speak, and even how you eat. But thanks to mini dental implants, you have another option for teeth replacement.
Visit your dentist at Carolina Dental Arts to discuss your options for teeth replacement. We have three locations to serve you in the Triangle Area of North Carolina, including:
You do not have to suffer the embarrassment and difficulties associated with missing teeth. Lastly, schedule your visit today to learn whether mini dental implants are right for you.