What are Mini Dental Implants?
Mini dental implants are small-shaped dental implants, measuring up to about 1.8 – 3.3 millimeters. They are smaller and more portable than regular-sized dental implants. Mini dental implants are divided into two parts: the titanium post and the crown. The titanium post comprises a screw and an abutment infused together to form a single entity, unlike conventional dental implants with a screw and an abutment that form two entities.
Benefits of Mini Dental Implants
They have a physical resemblance to and also feel like natural teeth
When properly applied, there is no distinguishable difference between natural teeth and mini dental implants. Because of this, many people seeking to have good dentition have resorted to using mini dental implants.
There is minimal invasiveness
Unlike many other surgeries, mini dental implantation requires less cutting and puncturing and reduced use of surgical equipment such as scissors, forceps, and needle scissors.
If you want an amazing dentition but fear surgery because of the cutting, puncturing, and likely after-effects on your body, you should consider going for mini dental implants.
Mini Dental Implants do not require bone grafting
Some teeth replacement surgeries require bone grafting.
Bone grafting is a surgical intervention targeted at overhauling and reconstructing a damaged bone by transplanting an undamaged bone.
Bone grafting is usually considered when the bone in the jaw can no longer support the teeth because it has lost its rigor. This procedure is excruciating and may cause jaw swelling and nerve injury. It also takes close to a year to heal fully. Mini dental implants do not require bone grafting, so you don’t have to worry about all these.
They are cost effective
Mini implants do not cost much. This is because the surgical procedure involved is not complicated. It uses cheaper local anesthesia and does not require expensive bone grafts.
They are a permanent solution to the bad dentition
The use of mini implants offers a lifetime solution to the problem of a bad, decayed or missing tooth. Please, note that the crown of a mini implant has to be replaced after 5 – 15 years or as instructed by your dentist.
They help retain jawbone strength and shape
Mini dental implants are made of titanium and its alloys. Titanium offers excellent corrosion resistance, is lightweight but strong, and causes less pain. It does not cause irritation when it comes in contact with living tissues and provides long-lasting solutions to bone problems in the body.
Who is Eligible for Mini Dental Implants?
- People with low bone mass in their jaws have not completely lost bones in their jaw.
- People with fully developed jawbones. Medically, people fourteen years and above are likely to have developed jawbones, but that may not be the case for everyone because of differences in the growth rate of each individual.
- People with no bone-related disease, such as periodontitis(gum infection), osteoporosis, or any other underlying health conditions such as diabetes, or cancer, to mention a few.
- People who are not addicted to narcotine and tobacco. Narcotine and tobacco disallow osseointegration – the connection between the surrounding bone and the implant.
Procedures for Getting a Mini Dental Implant
These will help you prepare your mind for what to expect when you visit your dentist to get your teeth job done.
Your dentist will;
- Get a proper image of the point in your jawline that requires mini dental implants using an X-ray.
- Numb your jaw and gum using a localized anesthetic.
- Use dental drills or handpieces to drill a hole into the jawline. The holes drilled are less than 3 millimeters depending on the jawline position and the teeth beside it.
- Attach, secure, and tighten the small-sized titanium dental implant into the drilled hole.
- Finally, place the crown of the mini dental implant securely on the top of the dental abutment.
Conventional Dental Implants Vs. Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants are smaller in size. Conventional dental implants are almost two times bigger than mini dental implants.
Mini dental implants take less time to be fixed, requiring just one visit to the dentist. Conventional dental implants take more time to be fixed, and they require more than one visit to the dentist.
Mini dental implants are cheaper. Conventional dental implants are more expensive.
Mini dental implants do not require bone grafts. Conventional dental implants require bone grafts.
Drawbacks of Mini Dental Implants
Over time, there has been a 90 – 95% success rate for mini dental implant surgery. Nonetheless, some setbacks associated with mini dental implants have been observed. They include:
- Bruxism, commonly known as teeth grinding, is associated with gnashing, clenching, or grinding teeth unconsciously when asleep or awake.
The presence of new teeth in the mouth causes teeth grinding because the mouth isn’t familiar with its new members yet. Bruxism can be passed down to the newer generation if not quickly treated.
- Mini dental implants have long screws to ensure the implants’ stability. Therefore, they cannot be used in an area with little vertical bone.
After a successful mini dental implant, be careful not to eat hard, chewy foods. Take in more liquids like tea, juice, custard, and soft fruits like bananas, and yogurt, to mention a few. Mini dental implants should be cared for like normal teeth; clean twice daily using a soft brush because they are less likely to damage your gums. Floss with an oral irrigator to discombobulate the effect of bacteria and rinse with clean water.
The advantages of mini implants outweigh their disadvantages, but you must take your dentist’s advice on whether you should choose mini dental implants or otherwise.
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