Mini Implants: Versatile and Cost Effective Dental Solutions
Over the years, traditional dental implants have proven to be an effective, reliable, and permanent remedy for tooth replacement. In the case of multiple tooth loss, a dental crown or bridge supported by titanium implants provides a durable, attractive cavity-free platform that will last for many years.
Mini dental implants, similar but smaller versions of conventional implants, have been in use abroad since the 1960’s but did not enjoy widespread exposure here in the States until the 1990’s.
One of the major issues with dentures has been that over time, they have a tendency to loosen or slip, often with embarrassing results. After successful clinical and technical testing and twenty years of actual in-patient use to draw on, the FDA approved the use of mini implants in 2003 specifically as a support for dentures. They have also been used successfully in an off-label (unapproved) application as implants for teeth where their smaller size is more convenient and functional.
Traditional versus mini implants
Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick point out that the major differences between traditional and mini implants are their size, their construction, and their optimal use.
Unlike traditional implants which are constructed in two pieces, the mini implant is smaller and fabricated in one piece. A conventional implant is constructed in two parts—the implant itself, which is a titanium screw approximately 4-5mm in diameter for strength and stability, and an abutment which attaches to the implant and becomes the holder or base for a porcelain crown. Its strength provides a durable platform to withstand the forces of chewing, particularly for molars.
A mini implant is a thin titanium screw smaller than 3mm, similar to a toothpick, which is topped by a ball-type end. In its use as a support for dentures, the ball fits snugly with a fixture that is installed in the base of your denture or replacement tooth. This fixture contains a rubber O-ring which snaps over the ball of the mini dental implant, holding the denture firmly in place.
Mini dental implants have real advantages
Because of their size, Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick agree that mini teeth implants are the ideal application for the replacement of a missing tooth in a narrow space, such as front upper incisors or certain lower teeth where the stresses of chewing are less. For denture support, they don’t require as much bone stability for implantation, in most cases eliminating the need for bone grafts. Even patients with moderate to severe bone degeneration are candidates for mini implants because of their minimal reliance on bone structure. Mini implants are also a quicker solution than conventional implants, providing in some cases a same day replacement for a missing tooth.
The cost of dental implants remains a deterrent for some candidates, but mini implants, because of their one piece construction, are less costly than conventional two-piece implants.
Who are good candidates for mini implants?
If you are a denture wearer and feel that they are slipping or loosening, that is a sign to head for Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry for a consultation with Suffolk County cosmetic dentists Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick. You may be a perfect candidate for mini implants to stabilize your dentures and give you a solid dental platform so you can go back to enjoying your favorite foods.
If you don’t have dentures but are missing a single tooth in one or more places, you may also be a candidate for a mini implant to replace that tooth.
If you’ve been told you’re not a candidate for dental implants because of a lack of sufficient bone density, come in for a consultation. Mini implants do not have the same bone tissue requirements as traditional implants. You may need to have x rays taken and/or CT scans to evaluate the situation fully.
If you have diabetes, cancer, or periodontal disease, Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick may require you to have some additional treatments before implants are done. Smokers also may have issues because of oxygen requirements needed to promote healing.
Mini implants may be a good cost effective solution
Mini implants on Long Island may be just the right cost effective solution for you to solve your problems with loose dentures or missing individual teeth. Call Long Island Implants and Cosmetic Dentistry at (631) 319-9509 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick to learn more about getting mini implants on Long Island. If you decide that mini implants or conventional dental implants are right for you, our staff will happily customize a payment plan for you that will fit well within your budget.