- by Dr. Ravneet Dhillon
- July 15, 2022
Dental Implants are a popular permanent tooth root replacement option that supports and provides a strong base for artificial teeth prosthetics.
Considered as an alternative to traditional methods of fixing the problem of missing teeth like dentures, tooth implants can not only help to replace one or several missing teeth but can even hold removable dentures in place.
Tooth Implants are made from titanium, a material which is strong yet lightweight. Being Biocompatible ie compatible with the human body, dental implants do not usually invoke a reaction from the immune system. Moreover, they can help in stimulating bone growth.
During the dental implant process, a small titanium post is inserted into the bone socket of a missing tooth by the dentist.
This is done after a few imaging tests and X-rays to ascertain the jawbone density. The bone gradually fuses to the implants as the jaw heals from surgery, turning them into strong and permanent roots that can support the replacement teeth.
Tooth loss cannot only hamper proper mouth function but also lead to low self-esteem, affecting the life of the person.
Tooth implants can help overcome these problems while maintaining the structural quality of the jaw.
They can help to provide a bite power that is much stronger than traditional dentures and at the same time also provide stability for the surrounding natural teeth.
With proper care, the Implants can last for decades, giving you a permanent tooth restoration solution.
Mini Dental Implants: What are they?
Consisting of two pieces with a diameter of 3.25 to 5 millimetres, conventional implants are put in the bone socket of missing teeth with an external screw.
Mini dental implants have the same structure as regular implants but are smaller in size. They comprise a one-piece screw which is less than 3mm in diameter and includes a ball-shaped end that sticks out from the jawbone.
Placing Mini Dental Implants
A much less-invasive procedure is required to place the mini dental implants as compared to the conventional dental implants.
Mini Dental Implants consist of a tiny titanium rod, nearly the size of a toothpick with a small ball on the exposed end to provide an anchor for attaching the elastic O-rings to finally put a replacement tooth into place.
Regular implants require an Adequate bone mass as a precondition, for a person to be an ideal candidate for the procedure.
However, the Mini implants procedure can help to avoid the need for a bone graft, which can be a lengthy ordeal without guaranteed success.
The placement of mini dental implants is less invasive, and the time required for the procedure is much lesser than regular implants.
Usually placed in one visit using local anaesthesia, no sutures are needed for the Mini implants.
Difference Between the Procedure of Regular Implants and Mini Implants
The surgical method of both implants is basically similar to each other. The jawbone is exposed by making incisions into the gums with the help of local anaesthesia.
The bone is then drilled to allow the insertion of the implant. The area is stitched closed, leaving a small area exposed above the gums.
Temporary teeth are provided while the healing takes place. The procedure time and healing period of mini dental implants are much shorter due to their being smaller in size.
The whole procedure can be done in a single day, usually giving the patient the convenience of getting the replacement teeth in a much shorter time.
Difference Between the Regular and Mini Implants
Both regular implants and mini implants are options to replace missing teeth. However, there are a few differences between the two:
- Regular implants require a proper bone mass for proper osseointegration to happen. However, Mini implants do not require as much bone mass or osseointegration and can be inserted as a sturdier alternative to dentures when one has experienced significant bone loss or is at a risk for it.
- Mini implants prove to be an ideal choice for fitting into smaller areas of the mouth or as stabilisers for dentures, as they are much smaller in size than conventional implants. Moreover, they can be used for smaller teeth due to their small size.
- Unlike regular implants, abutments or screws are not used in Mini Implants. Instead, teeth are secured in place, by elastic O-rings on a ball that is attached at the top of the implant.
- The use of Mini implants can help to stabilise traditional dentures. Even a properly fitting denture can usually become loose, sliding around on the gums. But this issue can be resolved with the help of Mini Implants, which can help to keep them firmly in place, providing an alternative to denture adhesives. This can in turn avoid the pain and embarrassment caused by the dentures becoming loose.
- Mini Implants involve a much less invasive procedure owing to their small size. This helps to reduce the after-surgery downtime too.
- As Mini Implants require a less lengthy procedure, their cost is lesser than regular dental implants.
- The stability provided by Regular dental implants is more as compared to mini dental implants. As the support received from the jawbone is less in a smaller implant, they may not prove to be as durable and strong as a regular implant. Moreover, Regular implants can provide a much more long-term solution than Mini Implants.
- Two mini implants may be needed to provide the same support as one regular dental implant in some cases.
Mini dental implants have their unique benefits and are quite secure. However, for anyone looking for the most reliable and secure tooth replacement choice, traditional dental implants are still the best-recommended option by our expert team at Morgan Hill Dentistry.
Do Mini Implants Look Different Than Regular Implants?
No, the mini implants do not look different at all. A mini dental implant and a conventional dental implant look exactly the same after the new tooth or crown is attached.
The only major difference between the two implants is the size of the metal post implanted under the surface of the gums.
However, irrespective of the size of the implant, the crown which is made after an impression of the mouth and measurements of the teeth taken in the dental office looks natural and easily blends in with the surrounding teeth.
However, it is imperative to mention here that being smaller, mini implants may not be a stable, long-term replacement option for missing teeth when compared to traditional implants.
Disadvantages of Mini Dental Implants as Compared to Conventional implants
Mini dental implants are half the diameter of conventional implants. This means that two Mini Dental Implants may be needed to do the job done by a single regular implant, resulting in putting more pressure on the jaw bone, and involving a longer healing time.
Regular implants provide a relatively long-term solution as compared to mini implants, as they enable better weight distribution. This exerts less stress on the jaw bone in the long term.
Traditional implants also provide a fairly stronger chewing force as compared to their mini versions.
Standard Implant or Mini Implant?
We at Morgan Hill Dentistry perform a substantial number of both procedures yearly. Our team of expert dental implantologists suggest that any person healthy enough to undergo a regular tooth extraction is an ideal candidate for a regular implant.
But for those suffering from chronic illnesses, heavy smokers, or those having received radiation therapy to the head or neck area may not be able to withstand the procedure.
For them, the Mini-implants can prove to be an effective choice and an alternative to regular implants.
Dental implants, both Mini and Regular are an ideal solution to the embarrassment and discomfort caused by missing teeth.
Mini Implants provide a very viable solution for patients who cannot undergo conventional methods of tooth restoration due to any reason.
An ability to withstand and heal from invasive surgery and a substantial amount of bone mass for the inserted metal posts to hold into the jaws are prerequisites for the regular implant procedure.
However, Mini implants can provide an alternative for people looking for an option that is more customised but still processes the look of the natural teeth.
Contact us at Morgan Hill Dentistry to find out which implants are better suited for you. Our team will help you reach the right decision regarding the best tooth restoration option for you based on the condition of your mouth and jaw.