What Are Mini Dental Implants?

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What’s the Difference Between Traditional Implants and Mini Dental Implants?

Mini dental implants are small dental implants comprising two primary parts: a titanium post and an O-ring. The post is quite thin, and these implants can replace most types of teeth. They are alternatives to other teeth replacement solutions, such as dentures, bridges and fixed crowns. This guide helps you determine whether you’re a candidate for mini implants and learn more about the procedure.

First, what are mini dental implants, and how are they different from traditional implants?

There are many similarities and differences between traditional implants and mini implants.

First, they are both designed to attain the same purpose: to replace the form and function of natural teeth.

Mini implants are much smaller than traditional implants, however, and they are much more affordable. The procedure is also less invasive and causes less discomfort for the patient. A typical mini dental implant surgery takes just a few hours while a traditional implant procedure takes months or even years.

While most patients wear mini-implants long-term, traditional implants are a more proven long-term solution. Dental implants have an overall success rate of 95 percent [1]. Your dentist can advise which type of dental implant is best for you.

Related: How Your Dentist Can Help With Chipped or Worn Teeth

What Does the Mini Dental Implant Procedure Look Like?

X-rays help your dentist determine where to install your mini implants. 

The mini dental implant procedure begins with a titanium post, which the dentist attaches to your jawbone beneath your gums via a small hole. The dentist then attaches the mini dental implant to the titanium post using a ball and socket joint.

Traditional implants use an additional metal piece to secure the implant at the gumline. This is called an abutment. Dentists typically recommend mini dental implants when the jawbone can’t support this traditional type of implant.

The procedure is much quicker and more comfortable than a traditional implant, making mini implants a great solution when you need a temporary fix. You may need one or two days to recover fully from the mini dental implant procedure, but the procedure itself isn’t painful. Your dentist may advise you to eat soft foods for a few days. Report any significant pain to your dentist.

Why Choose Mini Dental Implants?

There are many reasons why patients and their dentists choose mini-implants over traditional implants. Here are the most common considerations.

No Need for Bone Grafts

Some traditional dental implants require bone grafts when the jawbone isn’t strong enough to support the implant. Mini implants don’t require bone grafts. Thus, they’re faster and more affordable.

No Periodontal Flap Surgery

Some traditional dental implants also require periodontal flap surgery—the repair and treatment of periodontal pockets. Mini dental implants don’t require this complicated surgery because they are much smaller than traditional implants.

Shorter Surgery and Recovery Process

Mini dental implant surgery is less invasive than a traditional implant procedure. It takes just a few hours and recovery is only a few days—not months.

Less Discomfort

Because the procedure is less invasive, most patients have minimal discomfort during and after the procedure [2]. The implants themselves are also more comfortable than traditional implants or dentures. They don’t slip out of place or impede tasks like talking or eating.

Convenience

The affordability, minimal time, and ease of the mini implant procedure make it a more convenient option overall. Most patients experience minimal disruption to everyday life post-surgery.

Who Can Get Mini Dental Implants?

Most patients are candidates for mini dental implants, even if they don’t qualify for traditional implants.

There are, however, a few factors that make you an ideal candidate. These include:

  • Patients who are missing teeth in a narrow space
  • Patients who are missing small teeth
  • Patients with loss of jawbone density
  • Patients who are eager to complete the procedure quickly
  • Patients who need front teeth replaced

Most of the following patients won’t qualify for mini dental implants:

  • Patients who smoke
  • Patients with diabetes
  • Patients who need molars replaced
  • Patients with gingivitis or periodontitis
  • Patients who grind their teeth
  • Patients with significant vertical jawbone loss

Speak with your dentist to determine whether you’re a candidate for mini dental implants. A qualified dentist can make recommendations that suit your needs.

Related: The Negative Impacts of Grinding Your Teeth and How to Avoid Them

Summary

For some patients, mini dental implants are a great alternative to dentures, traditional implants, and other teeth replacement solutions. Your dentist can help you compare your options for treatment and advise whether mini dental implants are the correct choice for your situation. Please contact Boon Dental to schedule an appointment and discuss your mini dental implant needs.

  1. Raikar S, Talukdar P, Kumari S, Panda SK, Oommen VM, Prasad A. Factors Affecting the Survival Rate of Dental Implants: A Retrospective Study. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5774056/
  2. Evan Frisbee, DMD. Dental Implants. Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-implants