Mini dental implants are a great new way to permanently restore missing incisors and other small teeth. They take advantage of your existing bone structure without needing the additional procedure to install a bone graft like traditional dental implants do.
In this article, we’ll explore the technical details of mini dental implants and whether you might be a good candidate for this innovative new type of dental restoration.
What Are Mini Dental Implants?
If you’ve never heard the term before, you’re probably wondering what are mini dental implants and how are they different from traditional dental implants.
In general, mini dental implants are used to restore smaller teeth that appear in your smile, such as missing lower incisors. Many people who lose teeth in this area to tooth decay or gum disease tend to still have sufficient bone structure remaining to anchor the mini dental implants without the need for a bone grafting procedure.
Mini Dental Implants Vs Traditional Implants
When comparing mini dental implants vs traditional implants, the most notable difference is that with mini dental implants, you usually don’t need a bone graft. Most of the time the oral surgeon can work with the existing bone tissues to anchor the dental implant. This makes for faster osseointegration and a much shorter timeline for the completed restoration.
Dental Mini Implants Vs Regular Implants
Of course, dental implants are not created equal. You’ll notice this right away when you compare dental mini implants vs regular implants the bone tissue requirements and the overall size of the titanium dental implant are primary factors. A regular, traditional dental implant often pushes the limits of what can fit a smaller tooth like a front incisor. They are better suited for canines, molars, and premolars which might not immediately appear in your smile.
How Much Do Mini Dental Implants Cost?
The initial mini dental implant cost can range from $500 to $1,500 depending on the size and location of the tooth being restored. From there your dental insurance might help to further reduce the cost. However, a lot of dental insurance policies consider mini dental implants to be a cosmetic procedure, which requires you to have cosmetic dental insurance coverage, on top of your standard dental insurance.
If you have cosmetic dental insurance, then the mini dental implants average can reduce the total cost of the restoration by as much as 50%. This means you could get a lower front incisor restored for around $250 to $750 out of pocket.
This is typically preferable to the average denture cost, which can be well in excess of $3,000.
If you don’t have dental insurance or your current policy doesn’t allow coverage for dental implants you might want to enter the search terms “Affordable mini dental implants near me” into your favorite search engine. There are some providers who offer better pricing or in-house financing options.
Why Mini Dental Implants?
Mini dental implants are a great way to replace smaller teeth such as your front lower incisors without having to resort to an awkward removal partial. If you look online for mini dental implant reviews, you’ll find that many people feel they are permanent dental restoration. They are often preferred to having two traditional dental implants surgically installed to support a dental bridge in the front lower arch.
You can also find online reviews, you’ll find mini dental implants before and after pictures where the restorations look almost exactly like real teeth. This isn’t always the case with dental implant-supported bridge restorations. Especially for upper mini dental implants that are used to restore front incisors.
What Are The Benefits Of Mini Dental Implants?
As the next great innovation in dental restoration technology, mini dental implants have several important benefits. This includes the minimal invasiveness of the treatment, as well as lower cost and faster turnaround time for the completed dental restoration.
Less Invasive Surgery
Mini dental implants tend to take advantage of the existing bone structure in the dental arch. This means there isn’t a need for bone graft procedures, with lengthy recovery times. Sometimes a mini dental implant can be installed directly into the socket left by an extracted tooth.
Faster Recovery Time
Since mini dental implants rarely require an advanced bone graft procedure and only require a tiny incision, the recovery time after oral surgery is much shorter than traditional dental implants. Most people find their gum tissues heal within two to four weeks after surgery.
Mini dental implants are smaller and require fewer total procedures to complete the restoration. This translates into roughly 50% lower cost than traditional dental implants.
Less Jawbone Density Is Needed
Mini dental implants are small enough that they can often be installed into the remaining oral bone structure without the need for a bone graft procedure.
The fewer number of surgical procedures and the faster healing times mean that patients can enjoy fully restored teeth from mini dental implants months sooner than traditional implants.
Can Be Done Without Bone Grafting
Mini dental implants can often be installed into your existing bone structure. Whereas traditional dental implants often require more invasive oral surgeries to install bone tissues with enough structure to support the titanium abutment.
Can Fit Into Smaller Areas Of Your Mouth
Since they are smaller in size, mini dental implants are often the preferred option for restoring missing teeth from the front lower arch. Such as missing lower incisors.
More Permanent Than Bridges Or Dentures
Mini dental implants are designed to support one or perhaps two small teeth at most. This means the abutments endure less strain than larger titanium dental implant abutments that have to support multiple teeth in a much larger dental bridge restoration.
Prevents Facial Collapse
Mini dental implants help maintain your existing oral structure, which reduces the risk of them facial collapse, which you often see in long-term denture wearers.
Are There Any Disadvantages To Mini Dental Implants?
There are a few possible disadvantages of mini dental implants. This starts with the fact that they aren’t always the ideal long-term solution for full-mouth mini dental implants.
While they don’t need as much bone structure as traditional dental implants, they aren’t ideal for restoring molars and other large teeth that experience a lot of grinding force when chewing.
Mini dental implants also aren’t ideal for anchoring a dental-implant-supported denture. Though multiple mini dental implants could be used to anchor an implanted supported partial denture of a flexible denture.
Who Is An Excellent Candidate For Mini Dental Implants?
The ideal candidate for mini dental implants is someone who has lost one or more small teeth. Likely in the front of their mouth, such as a small incisor.
They also will not have lost a significant volume of bone tissue in the restoration area to dental trauma or chronic periodontal disease. They also shouldn’t have suffered from tooth decay that affected the roots of their missing teeth with cavities.
The ideal candidate for mini dental implants will also be a non-smoker. As the gum tissues are prone to slow healing an infection from tobacco products and excess heat in the mouth.
Procedure For Mini Dental Implants
The mini implants procedure is minimally invasive, and can typically be performed in a single outpatient oral surgery. Though you will likely need to be sedated. So, you’ll need to arrange for someone to drive you home afterward and help you out around the house until your senses are fully clear.
Once you are fully sedated and comfortable the oral surgeon will make any necessary extractions. Otherwise, they will then need to make a small incision in your gum tissues to access the underlying bone tissues.
Sometimes the remaining socket is sufficient for supporting the mini dental implant. Otherwise, the oral surgeon will need to make a small hole to fit the titanium abutment of the mini dental implant.
Once the mini dental implant has been installed the oral surgeon will suture any altered gum tissues and pack the area with surgical gauze. When you wake up, they will provide you with a prescription for painkillers or anti-inflammatory medications and give you aftercare tips.
In time, your bone tissues will naturally bond with the titanium mini dental abutment in a process known as osseointegration.
In roughly two to four weeks your mouth should be healed enough to start the process of fitting the mini dental implant with a dental crown. For front teeth, this is usually a porcelain ceramic crown that can be perfectly shaded to match the surrounding natural teeth.
Caring For Mini Dental Implants
After the oral surgery to place your mini dental implants, you’ll need to stay away from hot and cold liquids. You might need to keep surgical gauze packed around the incision site for 24 to 48 hours after the surgery. Your oral surgeon will provide you with any necessary prescriptions for painkillers or anti-inflammatory medications.
You should be able to brush your teeth again about 24 hours after the placement surgery. Just be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid contact with the sutures. If you need to rinse your mouth it’s best to use lukewarm saltwater.
For a week or two following the mini dental implant placement surgery, you’ll need to stick to a diet of soft foods. This includes things like yogurt mashed potatoes and pudding. It’s important to avoid bite pressure on the mini dental implants.
You should also avoid smoking or using other tobacco products. As they can easily cause an infection in the surgically altered gum tissues.
After two weeks, your oral surgeon will call you in for follow-up surgery to see how the gums are healing. If everything is going well, they’ll remove the stitches.
How Long Do Mini Dental Implants Last?
Mini dental implants can have 10 to 20 years or more with proper care and maintaining good gum health. Though they generally tend to have a shorter lifespan than traditional dental implants.
Mini dental implants are placed in a single outpatient oral surgery. The surgeon makes a small incision in your gums, then either mounts the mini dental implant in an existing socket from an extracted tooth or drills a small hole to seat it into. A natural process known as osseointegration then fuses the surrounding bone tissues to the titanium of the mini dental implant.
If your current dentist doesn’t offer mini dental implants, chances are you can find a specialist who does by simply entering the term “mini dental implants near me” into your favorite internet search engine.
Mini dental implants are a great alternative to traditional dentures. They are also a great way to restore missing incisors without having to first go through an invasive bone grafting procedure. This makes them a preferred option for trying to restore multiple missing front incisors with a single dental implant-supported bridge.
Many denture wearers notice a big difference when eating with dentures. Whereas mini dental implants restore a more natural feeling to the roots of the teeth, as well as providing them with superior bite force.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved mini dental implants as an effective method for restoring missing teeth.
Age isn’t a factor when it comes to the efficacy of dental implants. Though being in good overall health and having not lost a severe amount of bone tissue to chronic periodontal disease will certainly increase your chances of being a good candidate for mini dental implants.