If you are thinking about having dental implants then you may have heard mini dental implants being mentioned, but what are they and when can they be used and how are they different from normal or traditional dental implants? Most dentists will recommend traditional dental implants whenever possible, and here at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center we do regard traditional implants as being extremely reliable, giving predictable results that look and feel great. Unfortunately not everyone will be suitable for traditional dental implants and sometimes mini dental implants could be a good, workable alternative, but they tend only to be used in certain circumstances.
Differences between Traditional Implants and Mini Dental Implants
Traditional dental implants consist of three parts which include the implant post that is inserted into the jawbone, the implant abutment that is attached to the post and the replacement tooth. Mini dental implants are made so the post and the abutment are in one piece. Both types of implants are made from the same high-grade titanium alloy, but mini dental implants have a much narrower diameter than a traditional dental implant. The lengths of the implant posts are roughly the same in both systems.
Traditional Dental Implant Surgery
Each type of implant requires a slightly different surgical procedure for it to be inserted into the jawbone. With traditional dental implants, during dental implant surgery your implant dentist will need to cut open the gum tissue to expose the jawbone underneath before inserting the implant post. Afterwards the gums are stitched shut so the implant can heal and integrate with your jawbone. You may or may not require a small surgical procedure to uncover the implant at a later date when it is time for the abutment to be attached.
A Different Surgical Procedure
With a mini dental implant, the implant post is typically inserted straight through the gum tissues and into your jawbone. There is no need for your dentist to cut your gums as the implant post is so much narrower. As the implant post and abutment are all-in-one, the abutment will be visible above the gums. There will be no need for stitches.
When Are Mini Dental Implants Most Often Used?
Mini dental implants tend to be used to stabilize loose lower or upper dentures, or to replace missing teeth in areas where there isn’t sufficient room to place a traditional dental implant as the gap is too narrow. They can be very useful in areas where there has been significant bone loss and where there is insufficient bone to place a normal diameter implant. In spite of this, mini dental implants do have limitations and may not offer the same levels of stability and longevity offered by traditional sized dental implants. However, they can prove to be a more cost-effective option as they are generally much cheaper than traditional dental implants.
The best way to find out if mini dental implants could help you, or if full-sized dental implants would be a longer lasting and more stable solution, is to visit your dental office for a proper consultation.
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