What are mini dental implants and should you get them instead of regular implants?

What are mini dental implants and should you get them instead of regular implants?

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Mini dental implants are a versatile solution for some implant problems. If you are considering getting tooth implants, then you need to know what mini implants are and why you may need them.

Mini dental implants are a treatment alternative for patients with very narrow bone ridges, especially in the anterior. It could be seen as a more cost-efficient treatment option as normally more expensive bone augmentation procedures would have to be performed in order for conventional sized implants to be placed. However it’s important to note they may have lower success rates than traditional implants. As mini-implants are still quite new technology, long term studies have not yet been done.

The reason they were invented was not to save money, but to create a solution for some hard to treat problems.

What is the difference between a dental implant and a mini implant?

Basically, a mini implant is a narrower implant. While standard implants are from 3.5mm to 5.8mm in diameter, narrow implants are 1.8mm to 3.25mm in diameter.

When would you use a mini implant?

There are two main scenarios where you would use a mini implant.

If your jawbone presents some technical challenges that do not allow for standard implants. This could be because the jawbone is too slim to support a normal implant, or there are other teeth/ nerves in the area that mean there is less space for the implant. For instance, if the two adjacent teeth have roots that are close together, a mini implant may be the only option.

The other scenario where they are commonly used is to anchor a denture to the lower jaw. Because the lower jaw is the strongest bone in the human body, mini implants are more likely to succeed in this bone than the upper jaw.

Can mini dental implants be used for upper dentures?

In general, mini implants are not recommended for use in the upper jaw. The bone in the upper jaw is less dense and provides less support to the implant. However, it may be used as a temporary solution in the upper jaw.

Are mini dental implants permanent?

Carried out correctly and with followed up with good post-surgical care, mini dental implants enjoy a similar success rate as regular sized implants. This means that in general, they could be expected to last as long as normal implants, which can last more than 20 years. However, they are a new technology and long-term durability has not been studied yet.

How much do mini dental implants cost?

Mini implants are slightly cheaper to manufacture because they use less titanium. However overall treatment cost would be very similar as it will be a more time consuming surgical procedure due to size limitations of patients jaw bone.

What are the risks of a mini implant?

Because they are smaller than a traditional implant, they have less tolerance for bite force. They are more prone to bending and breaking. There’s also a higher risk of the implant failing if it’s not placed correctly and integration of the bone hasn’t been successful. If load/ bite distribution in the mouth isn’t correctly understood, this may cause problems that wouldn’t arise in regular implants.

Are mini implants right for you?

If you need an implant in the anterior, have very little bone width available and don’t have the money for more advanced bone augmentation, your dentist and mini-implants may be able to help. While a full-arch reconstruction isn’t recommended with mini implants, there may be some places where a mini implant is suitable. Arrange for a consultation and ask them about the option of some mini-implants.