Dental implants are a highly popular tooth restoration method. The cost and the need for a healthy jawbone make dental implants out of reach for many edentulous persons. The mini implants are newer procedure designed to solve many of the dental implants’ shortcomings. The smaller implants, also known as MDI (mini dental implants) or small dental implants (SDI) are made out of the same material as traditional implants, titanium. The surface which comes into contact with the bone contains or is sprayed with calcium phosphate to encourage bone growth.
Traditional dental implants vs. mini dental implants
While made of the same material and for the same purpose, the two types of dental implants present a variety of differences. The most notable one is their size. The traditional dental implants are 3.7mm in diameter, or even wider, depending on the patient’s needs while the mini implants, on the other hand, are under 3.0mm in diameters, with standard sizes of 1.8mm, 2.1mm, 2.4mm and 2.9mm.
Another significant difference between the two implants is that the traditional implants can only be used on the healthy and sufficient jawbone. Patients with receding bone may need to undergo surgery for bone addition. Mini dental implants can be used on receding bones and, due to their size they can be positioned in areas where traditional implants would not even fit. Last, but not least, the mini dental implants can be put in place in one sitting. The titanium implant has a small O-ring attached on the top which remains outside the gum. The O-ring supports the bridge or the denture, which can be put in a position immediately after the implant has been done.
The process starts with a dental examination. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area and holes are drilled in the jaws. The number of holes is equal to the number of mini implants fitted. The mini implants are screwed in place and fully tightened for optimal fit. The next step is to mark the positions on the bridge or denture where the mini implants will be fitted and modify the prosthesis to match their disposal. If the prosthesis is not made beforehand, teeth impressions are made for its design. The mini implants are FDA approved for bridges, crowns and full or partial dentures. They can be used to construct fix or removable prosthesis from scratch or can be used with existing prosthesis (mainly dentures). It helps patients cut the cost and keep the prosthesis with which they already got accustomed.
Advantages of mini implants
Reduced size which decreases discomfort;
Available for patients with receded jawbone, without addition of further bone;
No need for adhesive substances;
Reduced cost, thus available to a broader public.
Mini implants are a good option for people with receding bone, as well as for people who want a fast and affordable solution to keep their denture in place. The implants are also great for bridges and crowns, especially if you are not ready to go through the three-session procedure for traditional implants. Contact us today to know if you qualify for the mini implants.