What Are Mini Dental Implants?
Mini dental implants are used for tooth replacement in patients who aren’t ideal candidates for standard implants because they’ve lost bone or have narrow bone structure.
Though mini-implants and standard implants are similar in some ways, they differ notably in size, with the mini—as you might guess—being the smaller of the two.
That doesn’t mean the prosthetic tooth on a mini is smaller; in fact, it looks exactly like the tooth on a standard implant. What’s mini about a mini is the titanium post, or screw, that’s embedded in the bone to hold the tooth in place. It’s this part only—the post, not the prosthetic tooth or everything put together—that we’re talking about when we use the word “implant.”
Another point of clarification: The mini is actually more of a skinny; it’s no shorter or less sturdy than a standard implant, only slenderer, and therefore better suited for areas of the mouth where the bone structure is narrow or the patient has bone loss. Mini dental implants measure about three millimeters in diameter, about the size of a toothpick.
Other key differences between a standard and a mini-implant is that the latter
- is placed with local anesthesia, no sutures, and a much faster healing time, and
- doesn’t, in most cases, require moving away gum tissue to look at the bone
And then there are the benefits of mini dental implants once you have them in your mouth:
- They are easy to maintain. Just brush and floss as you always have.
- They look natural. Smile with confidence, knowing nobody will realize you have implants.
- They behave like natural teeth. Resume all your regular habits and eat all your favorite foods once you’re fully healed. Your implant is so secure you’d never know it’s not a natural tooth.
- They are considerably cheaper than standard dental implants.
- They improve chewing.
What is the process for obtaining a mini-dental implant?
Like other dental procedures, getting a mini-dental implant is a multi-step process. You can expect:
- A full consultation
- A 3D jawbone X-ray (to make sure mini dental implants are the better option for you)
- An appointment booking
- A letter outlining fees and a treatment plan
- A local anesthetic
- Placement of your implants (with a hand screw)
Afterward, you’ll have a minimal amount of discomfort—and implants that will last for an average of 6-9 years. (Standard implants, by comparison, last an average of 15 years or more if properly cared for.)
If you do not clean your teeth regularly or have underlying medical conditions, it is possible for your implants to fail before their average lifespan.
Concierge Dental is here to support you through every step of the way, whether booking your first appointment or assisting you with your dental insurance. Give us a call any time, at (716) 333-3333.