Mini Dental Implants Are a Minimally Invasive Alternative to Traditional Implants
A missing tooth can dramatically affect your facial features, especially when it is located at the very front of your smile. Although traditional dental implants can be used to replace these teeth in many cases, mini dental implants are a less invasive alternative. They also can help patients qualify for dental implants even if they have reduced jawbone tissue or are on a budget.
Dr. Bruce Watkins offers mini dental implants at his practice in Elkhart, IN. As a Diplomat of International Dental Implant Association, Dr. Watkins has the training and experience to thoroughly evaluate your case and determine whether mini dental implant will work well for you.
What Are Mini Dental Implants?
Mini dental implants are smaller in diameter than traditional dental implants. While traditional implants are usually 3.4 to 5.8 mm thick, mini dental implants are typically 1.8 to 3.3 mm in diameter. Mini dental implants also have a titanium ball at the end that directly connects to restoration without the need for abutments.
Mini dental implants are both smaller and simpler in structure than traditional implants.
As with traditional implant surgery, in order to undergo mini dental implant surgery you should be in good oral and overall health, as well as free of periodontal disease or tooth decay.
Dr. Watkins often recommends mini dental implants for patients hoping to replace front-facing teeth such as incisors or cuspids. Traditional dental implants are usually a better option for patients who need to replace back teeth such as molars, which are placed under much greater pressure.
Because mini dental implants also need much less surrounding bone tissue for support, they are also a great option for patients who have experienced some level of bone loss but do not want to undergo bone grafting or a sinus lift.
The Treatment Process
The process for receiving a mini dental implant is very similar to the traditional implant procedure, but is generally less extensive. In preparation for mini implant surgery, Dr. Watkins will numb the treatment area. As a provider of sedation dentistry, he can also administer additional sedation such as nitrous oxide or oral medication if you are nervous about your procedure.
Mini dental implants can transform your smile at a lower cost and with less extensive surgery than traditional implants.
When placing your mini dental implants, Dr. Watkins will not need to create a flap in your gum tissue to access your underlying jawbone, which also means that no stitches are necessary and your recovery may be much faster. In general, the overall timeline for treatment for mini dental implants can be much shorter, since mini dental implants do not require bone grafting, which can take several months to heal from.
Benefits of Mini Dental Implants
For the right candidate, mini dental implants offer many benefits, including:
- Lower cost: Because mini dental implants require fewer state-of-the-art materials, they are generally available at a lower cost than traditional implants.
- Minimal preparation: If you want to enjoy the benefits of implant-supported dentures without undergoing a bone graft or sinus lift first, mini dental implants usually do not require a preparatory procedure.
- Shorter surgery: Because of the reduced size of mini dental implants, you can usually expect your surgery to be shorter and less invasive than traditional implant surgery.
Although mini dental implants are a good option for patients who are on a budget for treatment, they are generally not as stable or durable as traditional dental implants. While traditional dental implants have shown outstanding success rates of over 95 percent, a study published in the Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry showed that mini implants had a survival rate of 92 percent after 12 years.
Learn More about Your Options
Mini dental implants can transform your smile at a lower cost and with less extensive surgery than traditional implants. To find out if you are a good candidate for these restorations, call Watkins Family Dentistry at (574) 293-9832 or contact us online.