When people need to replace their missing teeth, they would usually choose either denture or implants; however, these options are not always good substitutes for some, and should be carefully weighed. This is why mini implants were created as a solution to replace traditional dentures and implants. Mini implants are about half the width of a normal implant and are about the size of a toothpick.
According to an article in wisegeek.com, for people who have had dentures before and have insufficient bones left, mini dental implants could be the right option. “During this procedure, which takes about ninety minutes from start to finish, four toothpick-sized titanium alloy implants are placed in the jawbone. The denture is then fitted with corresponding O-rings which snap over the tops of the implants, securing the denture until the wearer chooses to remove it himself,” the article stated.
One advantage of this procedure is that the patient will not need a temporary denture as implants are secured. The entire generally pain-free process can be completed only in one doctor’s visit and patients have shorter recovery period. The success rate is pegged at 95%.
However, just like any other surgery, the success of a mini implant procedure will also rely on overall health. Smoking and alcohol drinking should be avoided during the healing process. Also, you would have to discuss with your dentist when you are habitually grinding your teeth as it can produce more stress to the implants.
Mini implants can be customized by using two methods. The first one is by hollowing the portion of the denture then filling it with soft reline material that will allow the implants to have some movement, but this will need to be replaced regularly. In the second method, the hollow is ground down for it to fit perfectly, with some sort of dental hard plastic used to fill the hollow.
Mini implants cost about a quarter of the price of standard implants, and can be used not only for dentures, but also to support crowns. They come in different lengths in order to make room for various bone thickness. Mini implants can be performed by cosmetic dentists, such as Dr. Kent E. Davis,, and for many who have had denture or implant difficulties before, these devices, which offer comfort and the natural look, reportedly have been able to help improve their lives.
(Article Excerpt and Image from What is a mini implant?, Wisegeek.com)