What Are "Mini Dental Implants"?
Mini dental implants are just small diameter implants that are FDA approved for long-term restoration of missing teeth. Any implant smaller than 3.0mm in diameter fits this description. All implants are made from surgically pure titanium. Titanium is strong and lightweight; it’s so strong that the military uses it to construct fighter jets.
How Are Mini Dental Implants Different From Regular Implants?
First, mini implants are a single piece versus the more common two-piece, traditional implants. Two-piece implants utilize a post and an abutment, but the post must first integrate with the bone. This integration takes several months, and then the abutment can be screwed in. By comparison, the mini implant is immediately loaded with a temporary crown (in the case of a single tooth) or a denture to begin the healing process, saving the patient months in the process.
Second, mini implants have a smaller diameter than large implants. Anything less than 3.0 mm is considered a mini dental implant.
Are Mini Dental Implants as Good as Bigger Dental Implants?
All mini dental implants are made of titanium. While traditional implants use a large, hollow titanium post, mini dental implants are made of a narrow, solid piece of this incredibly strong titanium alloy. Thus, both offer similar strengths. An advantage of the mini dental implant is more implants can be placed in the same area as one traditional implant, thus increasing the available support.
How Long Have Mini Dental Implants Been Around?
The first use of the small-diameter conventional implant was in the 1960s. Initially designed for temporary usage, with advancements in technology, the FDA approved using these implants for permanent tooth restorations in the 1990s. Since that time, hundreds of thousands of “mini,” or small diameter, implants have been used worldwide for long-term restoration of single and multiple teeth and denture stabilization in the upper and lower parts of the mouth.
How Successful Are Mini Dental Implants?
Hundreds of thousands of mini dental implants have been placed around the world. Studies show a success rate of 94%. This is comparable to traditional implants, which have a 90% – 95% success rate based on similar studies. Should an implant fail, an additional benefit of the mini implant versus large, traditional implants is the dentist can replace it in the same non-invasive manner.
Why Are Mini Dental Implants Less Costly Than Traditional Implants?
Several factors make the mini dental implants a better value. First, the procedure is minimally invasive, so costly sedation is not needed. Next, bone grafting or sinus lifts are unnecessary due to the size of mini implants. And, as the mini implants are one-piece, multiple dental procedures are not needed.
Am I a Candidate for Mini Dental Implants?
Anyone missing one or more teeth or who is frustrated with a denture is a candidate. Mini implants have successfully been placed in patients who have been told they were not candidates for traditional implants, such as patients who have suffered trauma from automobile accidents. The best way to determine if you are a candidate is to consult Dr. Ackerman. Dr. Ackerman and the Freedom Mini Dental Implant team will take a digital x-ray that provides a three-dimensional view of the bone in the mouth, allowing us to understand your dental structure accurately.
I Need My Teeth Extracted. How Long Must I Heal After Extractions?
While your gum tissue will be healed in two weeks, scientific studies show it takes four months for the extraction sockets to fill with new bone completely. For the best outcome, we allow the full four months for healing before placing the implants. During this period, regardless of treatment, we will provide you with a denture or temporary crown to wear so you will never be without teeth.
How Is the Procedure Done?
After a small amount of local anesthetic, a tiny hole roughly the thickness of a grain of rice is made, and the implant is placed in the bone. Patients are often surprised by how quick and painless the procedure is. After this, the mini implant is immediately loaded with the temporary crown (in the case of a single tooth) or the denture to begin the healing process. For dentures, you will wear the denture for one week, you will come back, and we will make any adjustments needed. You will come back in approximately five weeks for fixed, permanent teeth to have your new teeth cemented. That’s it, and then you’re done!
Is Getting Mini Dental Implants Painful?
Unlike the traditional, large-diameter implants, mini dental implants require only a minimally invasive procedure. Patients will only experience some minor pressure during the quick procedure. There is no cutting of the gums, no bone grafting, and no sutures. A hole roughly the thickness of a grain of rice is made, and the one-piece implant is placed.
Your Mini Dental Implant Dentist in Louisville
Contact our team if you are interested in mini dental implants. We look forward to helping you bring out your confident and beautiful smile!