Pros and Cons of Mini Dental Implants

Mini dental implants are among the latest developments in the world of tooth restoration. In recent years, mini implants have become increasingly popular for patients who wish to replace one or multiple missing teeth. These devices consist of titanium screws inserted into the jaw bone. They act like the roots of a natural tooth, supporting an artificial tooth, dentures, or other dental devices.

Mini dental implants differ from traditional implants in that the titanium screw has a smaller diameter. Mini implants are those less than 3mm in diameter, while conventional implants are up to 5mm in diameter. Otherwise, both implant types are essentially the same. However, this size difference does result in several pros and cons when comparing mini implants with their full-sized counterparts:

The Surgical Process:
Because of their smaller size, the surgical procedure to insert mini dental implants is shorter, and associated with reduced pain and a faster recovery period. Although the procedure is much the same, it requires a smaller hole in the jaw bone and a shorter period between the insertion of the implant and the placement of the false tooth or dentures on top of the implant. Their smaller size also means it is less likely that bone grafts will be needed during the surgical process, as the natural jaw bone is likely to be sufficient to anchor the smaller implant.

Strength and Durability:
Both mini and traditional dental implants are made of titanium. Testing has shown that the strength of dental implants is related to the screw’s length, not its diameter. As such, mini implants are as strong as traditional implants. Despite this, some dentists feel that traditional implants are better able to withstand the chewing forces in the back of the mouth, recommending that mini implants are not as suitable for this task.

Track Record:
Since mini implants are among the newest innovations in implant dentistry, their track record is comparatively short. Though they have quickly established a reputation for a high success rate, some dentists prefer traditional implants because of their longer history.

How They Function:
Because of their smaller size, mini dental implants are particularly well-suited to smaller gaps, like those left when an incisor has been lost. Their small size also makes them ideal for functions requiring multiple implants, such as supporting a full set of dentures. However, they are less suitable for replacing large teeth subjected to high chewing forces, such as molars.

One key benefit of mini dental implants is their price. The smaller amount of titanium used, along with the shorter recovery period, makes the cost of mini dental implants more affordable than regular dental implants. Usually, they are around fifty percent of the cost of full-sized dental implants. This makes mini implants a particularly popular option for applications requiring multiple implants, such as anchoring a set of dentures.

There are both pros and cons associated with each dental implant option. A number of factors influence whether mini or traditional implants are a better option for a particular patient. Deciding between the types of dental implants should take place in consultation with your dentist.

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