What are Mini Dental Implants?
As their name suggests, mini-implants are far smaller than typical dental implants, and offer both advantages and disadvantages. Mini-implants should only be placed by a dentist with plenty of knowledge and hands-on experience, such as Dr. Gibbs. The amount and quality of bone available for mounting needs to be accurately assessed. Potential bite force, esthetic considerations, and other factors also need to be weighed in making the decision.
Often, mini-implants and permanent, full-sized implants are placed as part of the same treatment. The mini-implants keep temporary bridges or dentures firmly in place for some time, allowing the other implants to heal properly while restoring chewing function to you in the interim. Some advantages of these small implants include:
- They can be placed quickly, often in the course of just one visit.
- Their cost is low – usually about half the price of traditional implants.
- There is no long healing period after they are placed.
- Mini-implants secure dentures immediately.
These small implants can ease the anxiety of waiting for permanent, full-sized implants to “take hold.” If the implants are being placed to stabilize a denture, or to replace a long bridge or partial denture, mini-implants can stabilize replacement teeth so that they function comfortably and predictably in the interim.
Mini-Dental Implants for Implant Crowns or Bridges
Where mini-implants are indicated, they are extremely useful. Limiting factors are the quantity and quality of bone available. Engineering principles must also be quantified – such as not over stressing the smaller implants by putting them in situations where they may fracture. As such, their use is not universal and their employment in a specific case must be analyzed by an experienced implant dentist.
In general mini-dental implants can be used for implant crowns in areas where the biting stress is minimal. Due to the “laws of physics” to further back in the mouth the stronger the biting forces. Also the tooth sizes are larger in the back posterior teeth.
We have found limited use for mini-dental implant in the selected anterior teeth, but they are generally contra-indicated in posterior teeth. Full size dental implants are usually the “safer” alternative but each situation needs to be individually evaluated!