Mini Dental Implants
Increasingly, dental implants have become the preferred method of replacing teeth and supporting dentures and bridges by dentists and their patients alike. Small, streamlined, and yet incredibly strong and durable, dental implants tend to the most comfortable, functional, and longest-lasting options available in tooth-replacement today.
They are not possible for everyone, though, given that they require a certain level of bone mass in the jawbone in order for the carefully designed three-part system to be effective. In some cases, either due to bone loss or otherwise compromised oral or general health, dental implants may not be feasible. However, in some cases, mini dental implants can provide a sound alternative to traditional dental implants.
What are Mini Dental Implants?
Mini dental implants are just as their name implies – a smaller, more streamlined version of dental implants. Condensing the three-part structure of a traditional dental implant into just two parts, mini dental implants are also thinner in profile, which means that they necessitate a smaller hole to be created in the jawbone for their insertion.
In the creation of a mini dental implant, the implant fixture – the small post that holds up either the implant crown or the retained piece of an implant-retained denture or bridge – is embedded into the jaw and then given a couple of months to heal and become one with the structure of the jawbone. This can take anywhere from three to six months and is an integral part of the process, as the deep structural support that this fixture provides is the main source of the strength and durability of any kind of dental implant. Once the healing process has finished, the implant crown, denture, or bridge can then be attached.
Preparing and Caring for Mini Dental Implants
Preparing for mini dental implants consists mostly of careful planning with one’s dentist and discussion the procedures that will take place. If bone health and mass is on the edge of what is allowable for dental implants, it is possible that your dentist could recommend bone grafts so that the implants have more bone mass to fuse with. This of course would extend the timeline of the overall procedure somewhat. Barring that, your dentist will likely examine the structure of your mouth and take impressions – these will help her or him create an implant crown (or bridge or denture) that fits nicely into the existing structure of your mouth. These will be created while the surgical site is healing after the implant fixture is installed.
Taking care of mini or traditional dental implants is quite simple. While conventional dentures and bridges have to be removed every night for cleaning, dental implants can be cared for just as one cares for their natural teeth. This means regular brushing, flossing, and bi-annual visits to the dentist for check-ups and cleanings. No other care is required for mini dental implant crowns. Removable implant-retained bridges and dentures, on the other hand, may need to be taken out for nightly cleanings; your dentist will advise you if this is the case in your situation.