A Guide to Mini Dental Implants

Missing teeth should be replaced. Often, missing teeth can cause longer term problems with extra stress and wear on the remaining teeth. This can also cause your bite to be affected.

In very many cases, missing teeth are replaced by removable dentures. However, removable dentures can cause problems themselves. Obviously, a removable denture means that you cannot eat certain types of food. It also means that, over time as the shape of your bite or jaw changes with age, it will fit less well. This can cause discomfort and irritation of the gums, as food will regularly become trapped around it.

In the past, the only viable alternative to a removable denture was a dental implant. However, for many patients, there was no alternative at all. Dental implants involve surgery and are much more expensive than removable dentures. Therefore, they are much more painful – both in the fitting and in the impact that they make on your wallet at the end of the treatment!

Mini dental implants are a newer solution that can perhaps offer some people a better option. They are approximately only one third of the cost of a full implant, but they offer many of the benefits of an implant because they are fixed into the jaw. Therefore, they also avoid the problems associated with removable dentures when they become loose and ill-fitting.

The treatment process for mini dental implants is much less painful and has a much faster healing time than conventional implants. The dentist simply has to place a few small anchor points into the jawbone. These anchor points are no bigger that the width of a toothpick and they hold the false tooth securely in place.

The implant, therefore, is the ‘root’ of your tooth. It is made of titanium and at the top of the implant, the dentist will attach a rubber ring. This cushions the tooth so that is does not sit heavily or grate on the gum beneath it. This means that it is often more comfortable than a removable denture.

The way that the mini implant sits on the rubber ring means that it does allow for some movement. However, it will not come loose and, as soon as your gums are fully healed, you will be able to enjoy a much wider range of food than if you were wearing a removable denture.

The biggest benefits of the mini dental implant are twofold. Firstly, there is the reduced cost compared to conventional implants and the increased security compared to removable dentures. It can make you feel much more confident in public when you know that you false tooth won’t fall out while you are eating!

Secondly, the amount of surgery required is minimal compared to full implants. This obviously helps to reduce the cost. At the same time, it also means that the time spent in the dental chair and during the healing process is much faster – so you can now get a mini implant with much less disruption to your life.

One area where this reduced need for surgery and healing time has made a big difference is in the type of people who can now receive implants. As your jaw changes with age, it is often older people who find that their removable dentures are becoming too awkward to use. However, they cannot always have a full implant fitted because the surgery is so invasive and painful. Full implants also depend on having a strong enough jawbone to drill into for them to be successful.

Because mini dental implants are much easier and less painful to fit, older people can feel much more comfortable about the treatment – both before and afterwards. As the false tooth rests on a rubber ring, they are very comfortable to fit and very comfortable to wear.

Many people with ill-fitting dentures do not realise that they have a choice when it comes to new solutions. Many swear they will never get another set of removable dentures. But they think that simply leaves them with a missing tooth (or teeth). In the future, more dentists will be able to demonstrate to their patients that mini dental implants are a viable alternative.