Dentures are wearable plates that hold a patient’s teeth together. These are commonly used by older individuals who have lost their natural teeth due to their advanced age or disease. Lower dentures tend to become loose because of the constant movement of the lower jaw when the patient eats or speaks. Sturdy denture implants were developed to securely anchor dentures to the jaw but there are situations wherein these implants may cause more harm than good. In an article for Dental Health Advice, Dr. Richard Mitchell, BDS explains how mini-dental implants can save the day.
Mini dental implants are smaller than conventional full-sized dental implants …This smaller size is really their main advantage.
In some situations, they can be used as an alternative option to conventional implants. Mini implants are approximately the shape and size of a wooden toothpick, but they are only about one centimeter long … all mini implants are made of titanium, like normal implants.
When size matters… in a small way
There are no standard dimensions when it comes to patients’ bone structure or size. If a patient’s jawbone is slightly smaller than the rest, it would require a smaller implant to anchor his/her dentures without causing any damage.
Being shorter is very useful if your jawbone has shrunk down a lot, leaving you with a full lower denture that is loose. In this situation, normal dental implants are simply too long. If a dentist tried to fit a normal sized implant to a very small lower jaw, there would be a danger of the implant coming through the bottom of the jaw!
In and out
The other distinct advantage mini implants enjoy is their ease of placement since no surgery is required. The procedure takes less than an hour to complete, and the patient can go home immediately after the fitting. The patient’s existing dentures can be retrofitted while the implants are being placed, and can be used immediately.
Not qualified for implants
Implants of any size are not for everyone. If the patient has a history of gum disease and/or low bone density, implants cannot be recommended. There is no solid foundation to which the implants can attach, and they may end up falling out on their own.
Less than half the cost
Standard mini implants will only cost a fraction of full-size ones, indeed, these savings are pretty much why mini implants are gaining popularity. Costs could vary depending on the number of mini implants needed, so it’s a good idea to consult a specialist like Dentures Done Right to set your expectations.
(Article Excerpt and Image from “How A Mini Dental Implant Can Be Used As An Alternative to a Full-Sized Implant”, Dental Health Advice)