What is a mini dental implant?
Mini dental implants share several key characteristics of traditional types of dental implants. Both consist of titanium bases or screws that replace the roots of missing teeth, and both can be used to support crowns, bridges, or dentures, especially in edentulous patients.
Unlike standard implants, which require several weeks for the jawbone to heal between implant placement and prosthesis, mini implants usually consist of one simple, minimally invasive surgery in which the implants and dental prosthesis are placed in the same day, in as little as an hour.
Pros of mini implants
Mini implants have all of the advantages of standard implants, but they don’t require complex flap surgery. They can be placed in a minimally invasive manner and require a much shorter healing time due to their smaller size. Healing time can be reduced from months to days, and the prosthesis can be loaded in only a few hours as opposed to several weeks.
Usually, bone grafts aren’t necessary for patients receiving mini dental implants. Because mini implants are longer and smaller, they allow for more innovative placement options, even in patients with significant jawbone loss.
Most procedures are completed in a single visit, and some patients can even start eating normally the same night. Usually, the procedure is so mild that most patients only need over-the-counter pain medication, if they need any at all. Complications are very rare.
Mini implants will never result in the same slipping and awkwardness like dentures, but they can be used to realign or secure dentures. Your face will also look better with dental implants, since they prevent facial collapse associated with bone loss.
Cons of mini implants
Though bone loss can be worked around, it’s difficult to attach mini implants in areas of the jaw with severe vertical bone loss. Candidates who grind their teeth frequently may not benefit from the procedure either, since this can wear down implants.
Talk to your dentist to see if mini implants can improve your smile!
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