Mini dental implants are a smaller, less invasive alternative to traditional dental implants. They are typically used to secure loose dentures or replace missing teeth in areas with limited space. Mini dental implants are a good option for people who have lost small teeth, such as lower incisors or have inadequate bone density for a single tooth implant. If you are considering mini dental implants, visit our implant dentists in Bergen County, Essex County, Morris County, and Middlesex County to learn more about your options.
What are Mini Dental Implants?
Mini dental implants are different from conventional implants, especially in their diameter.
Conventional-sized implants typically range from 3.25mm to 5mm or more in diameter.
Mini or narrow-body dental implants can be as small as 1.8mm in diameter.
The post or screw of a mini dental implant is similar to a conventional dental implant and may be up to 18mm long. The screw length helps provide much of the strength and stability of a mini dental implant.
Narrow-body dental implants are fabricated from medical-grade titanium alloy, the same material used to make conventional dental implants, but their overall construction is different:
Unlike a conventional implant with a separate post and abutment, mini dental implants are constructed in one piece.
Their design incorporates the implant screw and the abutment.
This difference in construction allows mini dental implants to be placed in patients with less bone density, and it also makes them less invasive to place.
Mini dental implants are a less invasive, require less healing time, and more affordable option for tooth replacement.
Why Choose Mini Dental Implants?
The design and size of mini dental implants mean they are a good option for certain situations, especially when space is limited. For example, suppose you lose a lower front tooth. In that case, the space may be too narrow for a conventional dental implant to be safely placed without damaging nearby nerves and blood vessels.
Replacing single teeth: Mini dental implants can be used to replace single missing teeth, especially in areas with limited space, such as the lower front jaw.
Supporting dentures: Mini dental implants can be used to support dentures, providing improved stability and function.
Rebuilding the jawbone: Mini dental implants can be used to stimulate bone growth in patients with jawbone atrophy.
Mini dental implants are ideal for stabilizing loose dentures, and they are a more affordable and less invasive treatment option than conventional dental implants. This is due to the technique used to place mini dental implants. Instead of opening up the gum to visualize the bone underneath so a small hole can be made to fit the implant, a mini dental implant is inserted directly through the gum, so there is no need for an incision or stitches afterward.
Treatment can be a good option for people who are less suitable for conventional dental implant surgery. They can be useful for anyone with limited bone available for dental implant placement and who doesn’t wish to have a bone graft or is unsuitable for this procedure. Because mini dental implants are smaller, less bone density is required for successful implant placement. They can also be good for people who have suffered bone loss due to an injury or osteoporosis.
However, if you have severe bone loss, mini dental implants might not be an option as there may not be enough bone to support them.
Mini dental implants may not be a good option for people with:
Advanced gum disease (periodontitis)
Conditions that affect the body’s ability to heal
Poor oral care routine
Anticoagulant medications that affect blood clotting
It is important to note that mini dental implants are only suitable in specific circumstances. Riverside Oral Surgery will carefully assess your suitability for implant treatment before recommending the best solution for you.
If you have mini dental implants to secure a loose denture, the denture will still be a removable device that must be taken out regularly for cleaning.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Mini Dental Implants?
Faster and More Affordable Treatment. Mini dental implant treatment can be quicker to complete than conventional implant treatment, requiring fewer visits. The smaller implant size is reflected in the price, making it more affordable than traditional dental implant surgery.
Can Eliminate the Need for Bone Grafting. The narrow size of a dental implant makes it easier to avoid essential structures like nerves, blood vessels, and sinus cavities, reducing or eliminating the need for bone grafting.
Faster Healing. The lack of incisions or stitches means healing is faster. There are fewer side effects afterward, like discomfort and swelling.
Less Invasive. A less invasive procedure can be easier to tolerate, especially for anyone with dental fears or phobias, or who is less able to have oral surgery for conventional dental implants, or who cannot have sedation dentistry.
More Comfortable Where Space is Limited. The smaller size of mini dental implants means they can be more easily fitted in people with smaller mouths or jaws and where space is restricted.
Good Vertical Bone Height is Required. Although mini dental implants require less bone, they need good vertical height as the implant post is a similar length to conventional dental implants.
A Greater Number of Implants are Needed for Denture Stabilization. More dental implants are needed to hold mini-implant dentures firmly in place. Treatment can be less suitable for securing an upper denture as bone density in the upper jaw is typically lower.
One-Piece Design Means Replacing an Entire Unit. Conventional dental implants have a separate post and abutment. Provided good quality components are used, an abutment can be replaced. However, mini dental implants are fabricated in a one-piece design, combining the post and abutment into a single structure. If something goes wrong with the abutment part of the implant, the entire implant must be removed and replaced.
O-Rings Need Regularly Replacing. The O-rings on the implant abutments for dentures must be replaced regularly, sometimes annually, to ensure the denture remains firmly in place when clipped onto the implants. These fittings are usually relatively cheap and quick to replace.
What Is the Process for Mini Dental Implants?
The process is similar to conventional implant treatment.
Planning. You will need a full consultation, including digital dental x-rays, photos, and a cone beam CT scan. We use this information to plan your implant surgery.
Implant Placement. Placing mini dental implants is less invasive, so you may feel comfortable with only local anesthetic to numb the gums and jaw. The mini dental implant can be inserted directly through the gum and into a small hole drilled in your jawbone before it is tightened in place. Because no incisions are required, and no stitches are needed, healing afterward should be faster with minimal discomfort.
Implant Restoration. After implant surgery, we can fit a denture or implant crown. Depending on the treatment, this restoration may be temporary or more permanent.
Using Mini Dental Implants for Denture Stabilization
Mini dental implants are placed in the jawbone and then attached to the denture using special attachments called O-rings. This helps to keep the denture in place and prevents it from slipping or moving.
Benefits of using mini dental implants for denture stabilization
Improved comfort and function: Mini dental implants keeping denture in place and preventing it from slipping or moving.
Improved appearance: Mini dental implants making dentures look more natural and less bulky.
Less invasive procedure: Less pain and discomfort during and after surgery.
Faster healing time: Faster healing time than traditional dental implants.
Using Mini Dental Implants to Restore a Lower Incisor
If you choose to have a mini dental implant to restore a lower incisor or another small tooth, the implant can be inserted as normal, and you may be provided with a temporary tooth soon after surgery.
The temporary tooth is designed not to contact the tooth in the opposite jaw, and you cannot use it for biting and chewing. It’s essential that the mini dental implant remains undisturbed and does not come under any pressure while it heals and integrates with your jawbone during osseointegration.
Conclusion: A Good Solution in Specific Situations
Mini dental implants are an excellent solution in certain situations. They can be a good option for anyone looking for a high-quality yet affordable solution to secure a loose denture or replace a tiny tooth.
Like any dental implant treatment, mini dental implants must be kept meticulously clean by following a good daily oral care routine and attending your dentist for regular checkups and hygiene appointments. Good oral care will prevent infection, ensuring the implants remain strong and healthy.
Are you ready to book your Mini Dental Implants appointment?
Request an appointment online or call an office near you! Our friendly and caring staff can assist you with any questions.
If you have questions about mini dental implants, to learn more, or to schedule a consultation with the implant specialist at Riverside Oral Surgery, call our center at (551) 287-2322 or visit any of our New Jersey locations.