Mini dental implants are considered a long term means of denture stabilization. Dental implants are made with titanium alloy and are used as a root device to help secure many different dental prostheses such as dentures, crowns and others. The standard implants are usually around 4mm – 5mm in diameter, but implants that have a measurement larger than 3mm in diameter is considered as a standard implant. Mini implants on the other hand are those with diameters measuring less than 3mm.
There are a lot of advantages in having mini dental implants. The first one is that it costs about 50% lesser than the conventional implant, so having this procedure done became much more affordable to the public. Also, because of its small size (about the size of a toothpick), the mini implants are considered less invasive. More often than not, they can be inserted directly into the lower jaw without having to cut an incision in the gums. A local anesthetic is usually enough for this procedure and is injected directly over the implant site.
Another great thing about the mini implants is that they allow loading of the prostheses immediately after the procedure. With conventional dental implants a patient has to wait for about three months up to six months before the implant integrates and the dentist can fit their dentures. But with these mini implants, patients can have their dentures loaded right after the implant is put in place. They can also be used to replace a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth.
There is a very specialized bone in the mouth called the alveolar bone. This bone is not found anywhere in the body and its specific function it to hold the roots of the teeth in place. In cases of teeth extraction, this bone melts away (a process called boned resorption). Usually the standard implant is not a good choice if there is an extensive amount of bone loss because it might affect the integration of the implant or it would require additional procedures such as bone grafts.. Fortunately this is not the case for mini implants. Because if their “mini” size, these implants don’t require that much bone in order to work.
A bit of caution though, because poor oral hygiene can cause a certain gum disease called peri-implantitis that presents around the site of the implant. To avoid this, patients should take proper care of their mini implants by brushing daily. Dentures too, need to be cleaned with the recommended denture cleaners. Dentures also need to be replaced every eight to twelve years and realigned every few years. Heavy smoking and drinking should be avoided as they may lead to complications or even failure of the mini implants later on.
These mini dental implants have been a great addition to the dental world and many people all over the world are benefiting from it. If you are considering undergoing this procedure, please remember that it is still best to consult with your dentist so that he or she can help you choose the treatment methods best suited for you.