Do you hide your smile because you have unsightly gaps between your front teeth? Or are some of your teeth badly damaged or decayed? If so, then dental implants may be the only permanent solution to your dental miseries.
Dental implants are fake dental roots, usually made of titanium (a metal that is well-tolerated by the human body), inserted into the jawbone to support a prosthetic tooth or bridge.
Implants can restore any number of teeth, from a single tooth to a full arch, helping you regain your smile, and enabling you to speak, eat and laugh again with comfort and confidence.
If you are seriously considering implants for your missing teeth there are two types, based on the diameter of the device – Traditional implants and Mini dental implants. Each type has its own size and diameter.
Traditional Implant Devices
Implants have long been used as a sure shot way to replace missing teeth over the last three decades. This type of implants is used to replace a lost or decayed tooth, multiple teeth or a bridge or full denture. It is also used to hold removable dentures in proper place. Endosteal (in the bone), Subperiosteal (in the bone) and Plate form are the four main types of implants commonly used in implant dentistry today.
In this type of teeth implantation a tiny screw is fixed on the jaw bone through a small incision in the gum tissue. After few weeks when the jawbone is fully healed and implant is fused to the bone, a crown will be loaded on the implant. The whole procedures results in a new, vibrant smile with the most natural-looking permanent prosthetic teeth that feel and work like your natural teeth.
Mini Dental Implants
Like traditional dental implants, mini dental implants are used to restore lost teeth. They are mainly used to replace front teeth, pre-molars, small teeth and teeth located in a narrow area.
This single-piece titanium screw has a head shaped like a ball on top. The head of this miniature titanium implant consists of a single rubber O-ring that allows it to connect into the socket of the denture or the prosthetic tooth.
The Real Difference between Regular and Mini Dental Implants
A mini implant is significantly thinner compared to a regular implant. The diameter of mini dental implants is generally between 1.8mm to 2.9mm compared to 4mm to 6mm for traditional ones. Being small in size, a MDI can be placed in areas where there is substantial bone loss.
A conventional implant is commonly composed of three parts- a titanium material screw, the abutment and the crown. MDIs, on the other hand, are narrow body, one-piece titanium appliances.
The regular screws are usually hollow in the middle, whereas the mini implant is one solid piece.
Unlike the traditional implants, only the ball-shaped portion of the mini implant sticks out of the gums.
Placing regular implants is an invasive, time consuming procedure. First the titanium screw or false root is inserted directly into the jawbone. After a healing period of several days, the root bonds to the bone. An abutment is fitted over the portion of the implant and a crown- the top most part of the restoration, is then added. The whole procedure is completed in several stages over the span of a few months. Mini implants, by contrast, are fixed by drilling a tiny pilot hole in the jaw bone, requiring no incisions. This minimally-invasive procedure is completed in a single stage in as little as 2 hours.
The cost involved in mini dental implants is much less when compared to regular implants. A mini dental implant can cost up to 60% less than a conventional one.