Mini dental implants are a great option, especially for denture patients. We have lots of patients who have dentures that don't fit very well, but unfortunately, as they age, the bone in their jaw gets very thin, and they can't have traditional implants, so that's where the mini implants come in. They're much thinner, and they can allow us to stabilize the dentures, so it really doesn't move at all anymore.
I did have a patient, it was a little German lady, she came to me after having dentures for about 10 years that fit terribly. She couldn't eat anything but scrambled eggs and mashed potatoes. She came to me because she heard that her friend had had mini dental implants. I told her it was a great option for her. We put four mini dental implants in on her lower jaw and put her denture in, and she was able to chew steak and corn on the cob that very night.
When You Need a Dental Implant
When you are missing a tooth for any reason, you really need to get it replaced as soon as you can. Without the support of that tooth, the ones nearby will start to slide into that gap. Your whole smile can then become misaligned. Plus, it’s easier for tiny particles of food and drink to collect in that space. You’re more likely to get cavities or periodontal disease without a tooth present. Most of all, your jawbone will start to deteriorate without a tooth’s roots in it. None of these will happen immediately, but like many other decisions, the longer you wait, the harder it is to do something about it.
Difference Between Mini and Regular Dental Implants
Both types of implants use the same basic structure. A replacement tooth is made to look and feel like your natural teeth. If you lost a molar, your new tooth would look like that molar. It will even be color-matched to your current teeth so it looks normal in your smile. That replacement tooth is connected to a titanium root. All of your teeth have roots extending into the jawbone, so the titanium implant mimics that natural root. It is surgically implanted in your jawbone.
The root size is where the two differ. A regular implant uses a standard-sized root. It’s great for normal sized teeth. Not every tooth is the same size, however. That’s where mini implants can come in. Their roots are much thinner, so they may be used to replace small teeth. Because the implant is smaller, it is often used where your jawbone is too thin or weak for a regular implant. This makes mini implants an excellent solution for people who have lost bone density as a result of missing teeth or dentures.
Placing Mini Dental Implants
Dr. Cavendish has performed this routine oral surgery plenty of times. The procedure is similar to traditional implants, but because mini implants are smaller, the surgery is less invasive. First, Dr. Cavendish makes an incision in the gums where the tooth used to be. He carefully places the titanium root within the socket (where the natural root used to be), and you will wait for the site to heal. In some cases, he can install a replacement tooth the same day.
Combining Mini Dental Implants and Dentures
Dentures are wonderful when you need a lot of teeth replaced. However, they do have a problem. Traditional dentures can slide around in your mouth when you chew. They can even fall out. At our Phoenix, AZ dental office, you can secure your dentures with mini dental implants. Several implants are placed and connected to your dentures. This means they will stay put.