August is National Dental Implant month. Dental implants are a great solution for patients who are missing one or more teeth. There are many types of dental implants, one of which is the small diameter implant also called the mini implant. The mini implant is a great option for patients that have a complete lower denture that is painful and moves around on them. Unlike most traditional implants, mini implants can be placed in one appointment and actually stabilize your existing denture immediately.
Regular dental implants can involve several visits to the dentist and can take weeks to months to become stable enough for proper support. When stabilizing a lower denture, the mini implant can support the denture as soon as they are placed. In many cases the mini implants can be retrofitted into your existing denture; therefore, a new denture may not be requested. This obviously cuts down on dental visits and cost. Mini implant parts are much more affordable to manufacture and buy. Because of these factors, the mini implant is very affordable.
Mini implants can be placed even if there is very little bone present. With traditional full-size implants, bone grafts and sinus lifts are sometimes needed for proper placement of the implant. With the mini implant, the need for bone grafts is usually not needed. The overall surgery for these implants is simple, and patients tend to experience very little complications.
Many denture wearers struggle with simple tasks such as eating and talking because their dentures slip and slide and cause pain. Mini implants can help support denture stability to avoid any discomfort and unwanted movement.
Just like regular implants, mini implants can also help reduce the look of a sunken face. When you lose a tooth, the empty space left in your mouth can cause your cheekbones to sag and give your face a gaunt appearance. Mini implants can stabilize a denture, which helps to fight this sunken look.
If you are looking for a single tooth replacement (which is often when a regular implant would be used) mini implants are not recommended. They are more useful in supporting multiple teeth replacements like bridges and dentures.
Mini implants are also not suitable for individuals that grind their teeth. Teeth grinding with implants can wear down your teeth. Mini implants are not as strong as regular implants, and may not be able to handle the pressure that grinding places on them.
Mini Implants vs Regular Implants
Although mini implants and regular implants are both methods used when an individual is missing teeth, some patients are not eligible for regular sized implants. When teeth are lost, the jawbone beneath begins to deteriorate. The more deterioration and the less jawbone available, the less likely a patient is to be eligible for a full dental implant. Because mini implants are smaller and require less jawbone for stabilization, they can be used on individuals who suffer from a receding jawbone. Your dentist will need to evaluate any jawbone atrophy to identify if you are a good candidate for either type of implant. Every dental situation is different.
If you are missing one or more teeth and are interested in learning more about dental implants, give our office a call today. Together, we will decide the best plan of action for you!