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All About Mini Dental Implants: Benefits, Procedure, Care, Recovery

February 21, 2022

What are Mini Dental Implants?

Dental Implants have become a popular choice for those looking for a permanent solution to replace one or more missing teeth.

However, some people do not want or cannot opt for conventional implants due to the lack of bone mass in the jaw to support the implant or for the simple reason that they want to avoid intrusive & painful surgery unless it is essential.

A newer type of dental implant, mini dental implants are small implants that have a similar structure and look like standard dental implants, but are typically about half the size of a traditional dental implant, which makes them easier and less painful to install.

They also do not need the same amount of jaw bone mass as traditional dental implants.

Not only is the process to install them less invasive, but it is also a quick procedure that usually requires only a single appointment.

Mini Dental Implants use a 1-piece screw which is a little bit smaller than 3 mm whereas traditional dental implant screws are made of 2 pieces and have a diameter between 3.25 and 5 mm.

Mini dental implants have two parts – a titanium post with a ball on the end and a socket with an O-ring that attaches the tooth to the post which is embedded in the jaw.

Titanium is a metal that can be integrated into the body so it is used to integrate the implant in the jaw and the rod used to attach the dental implant mimics the movement of the natural tooth which can help to prevent facial collapse and other issues.

Benefits of Mini Dental Implants

Mini dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, multiple teeth, or to stabilize dentures.

These benefits include:

  • Less invasive surgery
  • Quick recovery
  • Lower cost
  • Less jawbone density is needed
  • No need for bone grafting
  • Faster results
  • The capability of fitting into smaller areas of the mouth
  • Less painful to place and repair
  • More permanent choice than bridges or dentures
  • Prevents facial collapse
  • Mini implants can help to stabilize the dentures and provide an alternative to dentures adhesives.

Who Can Get Mini Implants?

Mini dental implants are an ideal recommendation when bone resorption has taken place or the jawbone mass is not enough to support a traditional implant.

These are also ideal or quick solutions as the process of installing them is relatively quick and painless as compared to traditional dental implants.

Though a good option for people who are unable to have traditional dental implants, Mini Implants are not an ideal fit for all tooth loss.

These cannot be used in children or anyone whose mouth isn’t fully developed as the implant can become surrounded by the bone as the bone grows. 

They’re also not an ideal option for people who grind their teeth or for people with certain health issues including:

  • Diabetes
  • Vascular disease
  • Hemophilia or any other clotting issue
  • Bone disease
  • Periodontitis or gum disease 
  • Issues that can impact wound or bone healing

The Ability to get mini dental implants can also be impacted if the person 

  • Is a smoker
  • Jas limited oral hygiene
  • Takes any anticoagulant medications
  • Is on any medication that slows down bone healing
  • Is receiving chemotherapy or radiation

Though Mini implants do not require as much jawbone density as traditional implants, still some amount of bone density is needed to place them.

Thus they might not work if one has severe decay and bone loss.

People with recessed or damaged gums might also be unable to support mini implants.

Also Read: Are Dental Implants Painful?

Mini Dental Implant Procedure

The procedure for getting Mini Dental Implants is as follows:

  1. First and foremost dental X-rays are done by the dentist to establish exactly where the implants need to be placed.
  2. After the X-rays are taken, the dentist uses a local anesthetic to numb the gums and jaw. 
  3. Incisions are made into the gums, by drilling a small hole in the jaw to expose the jawbone.
  4. A small metal dental impact post is placed in the hole and the gums are then stitched closed around the implants, leaving a small portion exposed above the gums. 
  5. The temporary replacement tooth is attached to the post and the dentist ensures that the replacement tooth is properly placed and secured.

Many mini implants do not require holes to be drilled as the threads of the screw grab onto the bone. 

After the patient has healed from the surgery, the process of creating permanent teeth begins, by taking impressions of the mouth.

These impressions help design and fabricate the new teeth. Once ready, they are fitted on the titanium post using O-rings that allow them to be firmly snapped into place.

What’s the Recovery Like from a Mini Dental Implant?

Recovery from mini implants is generally fast and easy.

One must avoid overly hard or sticky foods in the initial days after the mini dental implant procedure and stick to soft foods like ice cream, mashed potatoes, soups, and smoothies.

However, the pain of Mini Dental Implants as compared to a conventional dental implant process is minimal and one is ready to resume normal activities in a day or two in many cases, a follow-up appointment may also not be needed. 

Some pain and discomfort may be experienced following the procedure.

Ice or over-the-counter pain relievers are usually enough to help manage pain. 

However one must immediately call their dentist or another medical professional if they experience any unexpected symptoms like:

  • Severe pain or pain that lasts for more than a few days
  • Loose or fallen out implanted tooth 
  • Numbness in the jaw

Care of Mini Implants

One must take care of the Mini Dental Implant the same way as the natural teeth.

Brushing and flossing daily is mandatory. One can use an extra soft-bristled toothbrush if the gums are more sensitive after the procedure.

Regular dental checkups and cleanings to maintain the health of your mini dental implants and the rest of the teeth are important to maintain oral health.

Lack of good oral hygiene can wear or decay them down.

Regular dental check-ups are also important to make sure that the mini-implant stays intact. 

Mini dental implants can be a permanent solution for tooth loss if taken care of. 

Just like other implants, they can last many years before needing repairs or replacement.

Summary

Mini dental implants can prove to be a long-lasting and durable solution for lost teeth, with the convenience of minimally invasive surgery, without any substantial effect on your daily routine.

However, as every mouth, person and needs are different, so the possibility of getting Mini Implants can be established by the dentist after a thorough checkup.

The health and effectiveness of mini dental implants also vary from person to person.

Regular teeth cleanings combined with daily brushing and flossing go a long way towards maintaining the health of the implant.

Dr. Gaurav Sharma a dentist from Kirkland has 400+ hours of Continuing education from the prestigious AAID (American Academy of Implant Dentistry).

He says that a proper hygiene routine and regular checkups with a dentist can make these implants last for years. If you are looking for minimally invasive tooth restoration options, contact us at Kirkland Premier Dentistry.

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