Mini Dental Implants Norwalk, CT
Mini dental implants attach titanium rods to the jaw bone, making smile restorations possible with natural-looking and functional artificial teeth. Your smile is one of the most important facial features, which is why many people with missing teeth choose to restore their smile with crowns or dentures. Since traditional dental implants can require extensive work and are not always an option, mini implants allow most patients to qualify without invasive procedures.
Premier Oral Surgery is an oral surgeon serving Norwalk and surrounding area. For more information about mini-implants and what type of dental implant may be best for you, our team is here to help. Call us at (203) 945-0049 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
Mini Dental Implant Basics
The most common type of mini dental implant is a titanium rod with a ball-shaped tip. This process involves implanting the rod into the jawbone before attaching a denture or crown. Often, mini dental implants stabilize dentures of the lower jaw, which are more likely to become loose and slip over time, causing pain and embarrassment. Mini implants typically share the same general structure as traditional dental implants. However, mini dental implants have a smaller diameter, around 3 millimeters or less.
Mini dental implants were introduced into the dental landscape in 1997, about 20 years after traditional dental implants were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They came about because many patients unable to receive traditional dental implants needed smile restoration solutions. Dentists realized that they could use mini implants and still give patients the same benefits without the downsides of traditional methods.
“…mini dental implants have a smaller diameter, around 3 millimeters or less.”
Mini vs. Traditional Dental Implants
Mini and traditional dental implants share the same structure and general purpose to help anchor dentures or crowns in place. However, mini dental implants are smaller and benefit certain types of patients compared to traditional implants.
Compared to traditional dental implants, mini implants remain ideal for patients who do not have enough bone mass in the jaw to accommodate a traditional implant and cannot or do not want to undergo a bone grafting procedure. In addition, they have the advantage of being placed in one visit, causing less discomfort and inconvenience for the patient. However, some patients may not be candidates for mini dental implants and may require a traditional implant or prior bone graft procedure.
Our oral surgeon will review the patient’s medical history and current condition to determine if the patient is a candidate for mini dental implants.
“…mini implants remain ideal for patients who do not have enough bone mass in the jaw to accommodate a traditional implant and cannot or do not want to undergo a bone grafting procedure.”
Benefits of Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants have several advantages, offering benefits such as:
- An ability to fit into narrow mouth spaces
- Involving a shorter recovery period
- Reducing need for bone grafting
- Involving shorter treatment schedules
- Typically more affordable
Although mini dental implants have many advantages, they are not always the right treatment option. When deciding how to restore missing teeth, an oral surgeon will first consider the most optimal and effective way to restore a patient’s teeth in the least invasive way possible. If the teeth require more invasive procedures to restore adequate functioning, then traditional implants may be more effective in the long run.
“They reduce the need for bone grafting, making them minimally invasive.”
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The Treatment Process
When preparing for a mini dental implant, it is helpful to understand the procedure and follow-up process. First, the oral surgeon discusses the treatment plan with the patient. Then, they will use numbing medications to eliminate pain or discomfort. The oral surgeon will then drill and screw the mini implant post into place in the jaw bone. We may directly attach a crown on top of the implant or use the implant to stabilize existing dentures.
To prepare for the treatment, ask about stopping any medications beforehand, such as blood thinners. It can also help to review the procedure and know what to expect beforehand. During and after the procedure, patients are not fully aware or alert to ask the right questions. Thus, our oral surgeon and team will provide after-care and maintenance instructions during the consultation appointment and ensure the patient has everything they need for the day of the surgery.
“We may directly attach a crown on top of the implant or use the implant to stabilize existing dentures.”
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The Recovery Period
One of the major advantages of a mini dental implant is that the recovery period is usually short. Usually, it takes just a couple of days for the area to heal with minimal pain. Unlike traditional implants, patients will not need to undergo a period of "osseointegration," where the implant integrates with the jawbone. This process can take months. Also, unlike traditional dental implants, dentures and other restorations can be placed right away.
Our oral surgeon will discuss specific recovery and post-treatment protocols during the consultation or after any mini-implant procedure. Generally, a soft diet can help speed recovery time, and ice packs and over-the-counter painkillers can help with pain and swelling. After receiving an implant, remove and wash dentures daily to maintain the health of oral structures and gums. It is important to maintain a stringent oral hygiene routine - twice-daily brushing and daily flossing. Avoiding smoking can also help optimize oral health and reduce the chance of implant failure.
“Generally, a soft diet can help speed recovery time, and ice packs and over-the-counter painkillers can be used for pain and swelling.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why should I brush a mini implant?
A. Even though a mini implant consists of metal, it is still vital to keep it clean. That is because bacterial plaque can build up on the rod just as it does on your teeth. Keeping your implant clean can help you avoid gum inflammation and infection.
Q. How effective is a mini implant?
A. Mini implants have a high success rate. Research has found that mini implants have more than a 96% success rate, which means that if you undergo the procedure, you have outstanding odds of being able to enjoy the benefits of an implant.
Q. Why would I consider a mini implant?
A. You may want to consider a mini implant if you are struggling with loose-fitting dentures or have missing teeth but cannot have a traditional dental implant. It requires a certain amount of bone to keep the implant secured in place; otherwise, a bone graft is necessary. Bone grafting can be a very involved procedure, especially if you are struggling with other types of medical conditions.
Q. How expensive is a mini implant?
A. A mini implant is typically much less expensive than a traditional dental implant. That is because fewer treatment steps are usually involved. While prices do vary, mini implants tend to be significantly less expensive than traditional implants.
Q. Are mini implants as strong as traditional implants?
A. While mini implants offer a wonderful alternative to conventional implants, they are not quite as durable. If you have a mini implant, you may still need to be mindful of biting down on hard foods because this could cause an implant failure. However, people with mini implants are generally able to enjoy the same benefits of better-fitting dentures.
Start Feeling Better – Visit Us Today
By visiting us as soon as possible, our team can help get you the professional treatment you need. Instead of waiting around and allowing the symptoms to get worse, we can provide you with treatment options.
Interested in Mini Dental Implants?
Our oral surgeon will determine if mini dental implants may be a better restoration solution for those who are not candidates for traditional dental implants. If you are interested in pursuing dental implants and believe you may be a candidate for a mini implant, contact our team today at (203) 945-0049.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Clinical Terms. 2023
- American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry® (AACD). Home Page. 2023
- American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics. American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics. 2023
- American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. 2023
- American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 2023
- National Cancer Institute (NCI). National Cancer Institute (NCI). 2023
- WebMD. WebMD’s Oral Care Guide. 2023
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