There’s no question that when it comes to replacing missing teeth, dental implants are in a class of their own. In addition to looking and feeling like your own teeth, implants also have the potential to last a lifetime! However, if you’ve been told that you aren’t a candidate for traditional implants because your jaw is too thin or too weak, you may worry that you’ll never have a smile that looks or feels natural again. But with an option like mini-implants, there’s hope! A dentist in Suwanee can often use mini-implants as an alternative to traditional implants, while still providing all of the same benefits. Want to learn more? Keep reading below!
How Do Mini-Implants Work?
Mini-implants are very similar to traditional implants and are made from the same bio-compatible titanium. But, just as the name implies, they’re significantly smaller in size. In fact, regular implants are an estimated 3.4 to 5.8 mm wide, while mini-implants are just 1.8 to 3.3 mm wide. And, while the surgery itself between the two is basically the same, there are differences in the way mini-implants are placed in the jaw compared to regular implants.
Mini-implants are typically put in at a diagonal angle, which enables them to work successfully, even when the jaw is smaller. Regular implants, on the other hand, are placed vertically, so they require more jawbone mass and density for support. Since the jawbone begins to deteriorate once the natural teeth are removed, you may not have enough jawbone left for regular implants if it’s been several years since you lost your teeth.
What Are the Benefits of Mini-Implants?
Mini-implants are often used to secure full dentures and they’re also perfect when someone loses one of the smaller front teeth such as an incisor. Here are just some of the advantages they provide:
- Due to their smaller size, placing mini-implants is less-invasive and does minimal damage to the gum tissue. This allows for faster healing and recovery.
- Another key advantage of mini-implants is that they can often be restored with a denture or crown the same day they’re placed in the jaw, so you don’t have to wait 3-6 months the way you would with traditional implants.
- Fewer mini-implants can be used (usually, just 4-6 are needed to support a full upper or lower denture).
- Mini-implants are often more cost-effective than traditional.
Wondering whether regular or mini-implants are right for you? Start by scheduling a consultation with a dentist who can assess your needs and create the best treatment plan. Regardless of what type of implants they recommend, restoring your smile after tooth loss is a wonderful decision that will pay off for a lifetime!
About the Author
Dr. Joonkyu Hwang has over a decade of experience as a dentist in Suwanee and is a graduate of the dental program at the University of Michigan. He’s thrilled to have an option like mini-implants that work for patients after bone loss while still providing all the same benefits as traditional implants. If you have any questions about mini-implants or want to schedule a consultation, he can be reached via his website.