Dental implants have proven to be a viable and healthy solution for many who suffer from tooth loss as a result of causes ranging from health decisions to genetic misfortune. Mini implants are one of the most advanced and effective solutions for the replacement of natural teeth. They can be a solution for those that have significant bone loss or are looking for a more affordable option to full dental implants.
What Are Mini Dental Implants?
Mini implants are a smaller version of a full-sized dental implant. They are toothpick thin posts that are made from titanium. Most frequently mini implants are used to stabilize the lower denture helping to eliminate the discomfort of a moving denture. Mini implants come with many advantages; however, they also carry with them limitations, as is outlined below.
Advantages of Mini Implants
- The surgery is minimally invasive.
- The entire process takes only a few hours. The patient can walk in to the office in the morning and out the same day with a full set of teeth.
- The quick recovery of a mini implant patient can allow the patient to eat the same day.
- It is a solution for patients that have significant bone loss that restrict them from being candidate for full dental implants.
- It is a solution for patients that cannot have surgery for medical reasons.
- Mini implants requires no sutures or long recovery periods.
Limitations on Mini Implants
- Mini implants are not an ideal, long-term solution based on the thinness of the implant.
- Non-removable dentures are not an option with mini implants.
- Mini implants do not offer the same degree of stability that a normal dental implant does.
- Some of the same drawbacks of traditional dentures apply when mini implants are used: somewhat uncomfortable, clicking, and esthetic drawbacks such as bad breath.
- They can only be used on the lower arch. The upper arch does not integrate with the implants.
- Metal fatigue is a risk with mini implants due to their size, so they can malfunction.
The best long-term option is a full dental implant, however, the cost is higher. Mini implants are a good alternative, but they cannot be seen as a replacement to natural teeth to the same degree that a dental implant is considered.
Photo Credit: Braun Dental