Benefits of Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants have the same advantages as standard implants in replacing missing teeth but can be inserted into your jaw without major surgery. Another key benefit of mini dental implants is that you get your artificial tooth or teeth ready to use straight away, unlike regular implants.
Standard implants are inserted into the jaw bone with an external screw. A mini implant is a solid, one-piece screw with a smaller diameter. Mini implants are often used to anchor a lower denture but they can be placed anywhere in the mouth.
While completion of standard implant treatment can take several months, your mini implants are ready for action from the word go. Mini-implants still function and look like natural teeth, just like routine implants.
Another benefit of mini dental implants is a financial one. Regular implants can be expensive, entailing a series of visits to your dentist over many months. Mini implants speed up the implant procedure dramatically.
According to implant dentistry platform OsseoNews.com1, mini implants can be used to replace a single tooth or several teeth.
Avoiding Major Surgery
One of the major benefits of mini dental implants is that they can be used if you have lost a lot of jaw bone.
You might have an insufficient quality bone in your jaw if you:
- Have lost teeth and not had them replaced.
- Have had gum disease (periodontitis).
- Have misaligned teeth.
- Have sustained an injury that knocked out or broke a tooth.
If you have lost too much bone to make standard implants feasible without bone graft surgery, mini implants deliver the perfect solution – they are designed to eliminate bone grafting.
Mini implants also provide an option for patients who cannot tolerate – or are unwilling to undergo – complex surgery. The mini implant procedure is less invasive, and the artificial tooth can be placed within hours, with a faster healing time.
Further Benefits of Mini Dental Implants
Other benefits of mini dental implants include:
Preserving Facial Appearance
Mini implants – like their standard counterparts – are fixed into the jaw bone to become a replacement tooth root. This prevents the facial collapse that can occur with bone loss in the absence of stimulation from a tooth root.
Less disturbance of soft tissue and bone means most patients only need over-the-counter pain relief – if any at all – for a day or two after the procedure.
The mini implant procedure can usually be completed in a single appointment. Most patients can resume normal activities the same day, with no dietary restrictions.
Improving the Fit of Dentures
Unlike dentures, mini implants do not feel awkward or slip. They can, however, be used to realign dentures to improve the fit.
Suitability for Elderly Patients
Because the procedure is short and simple, even elderly or infirm patients can often benefit from mini implant treatment.
Little Risk of Complications
Complications from mini implant treatment are rare, particularly in the hands of a dentist experienced in the procedure.
Further benefits of mini dental implants are:
- No cutting or stitches.
- No need for adhesives or other bonding agents.
- Long-lasting results.
- High success rate.
- Easier eating.
- Less breath odor.
- Easy cleaning.
- Clearer speech.
- No slipping or discomfort.
How Do Mini Implants Work?
Mini dental implants2 (MDIs) are also known as small diameter or narrow diameter implants (SDIs and NDIs).
Regular implants typically comprise two pieces – with a diameter of 3.25 to 5 millimeters – that are inserted into the bone socket of missing teeth with an external screw. A mini implant is a solid, one-piece screw, less than 3 millimeters in diameter, with an anchor combined with an abutment post, onto which a crown or denture can be placed.
Mini implants are generally used to secure removable dentures in the dense lower jaw, rather than the hollow bone of the upper jaw.
Mini implants and standard implants are both made from titanium, a metal whose biocompatibility makes it ideal for use in the human body because it won’t prompt an adverse reaction. In fact, implants are unique in dentistry in actually promoting bone growth. The titanium post is inserted into the bone socket of a missing tooth, and the jaw bone grows back around the implant, anchoring it securely.
When Regular Implants Aren’t the Best Option
If you’ve been told you’re not a good candidate for conventional implant surgery, you can still get great results with mini implants, which don’t require as much bone and soft tissue removal.
While in most instances anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine tooth extraction is a potential candidate for a regular implant, there may be issues if you suffer from a chronic medical condition, are a heavy smoker, or you have had radiation therapy to the head or neck.
In these cases, you may still be able to take advantage of the many benefits of mini dental implants. A mini implant can also provide a short-term fix until another, permanent solution is possible.
Mini implants provide a long-term solution to tooth loss, helping to maintain oral health better than other tooth replacement methods.
Finding the Right Dentist for Mini Implants
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry3 (AAID), more than 35 million people in the U.S. have lost all their upper or lower teeth, or both. Whether mini implants are the best option for you depends mainly on the condition of your jaw and mouth, and an experienced mini implant dentist can help you to make an informed decision.
If you decide to go ahead with mini implants, look for a dentist who offers personalized treatment to meet your individual needs and who keeps up to date with the latest techniques and technologies.
You may also want to find a dentist skilled in regular implant treatment. Kim Gowey, a former president of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, has highlighted the importance of dentists being experienced in standard dental implants before offering the benefits of mini dental implants. He said. "Without extensive implant knowledge, they will not know proper surgical techniques and all the basics about bone healing critical for implant success.”