Replacing missing teeth via dentures, bridges and dental implants is no foreign practice to modern day dentists. If you are in need of an implant, your dentist may present two options: traditional and mini. Traditional dental implants are the best choice to guarantee a durable, natural-looking replacement tooth. Here, we delve into the difference between these two types of implants, and help you understand why traditional implants are typically the better choice.
A dental implant is a replacement tooth, inserted into the jawbone so that it can’t be removed. Your dentist will conduct a surgical procedure to place an abutment (anchorage for a tooth bridge) into the jawbone, and the bone will fuse around the abutment over three to six months.
Once the abutment is fused into the jawbone and the implant is uncovered, a small post is attached into the implant for artificial teeth to attach to. You might prefer dental implants to dentures because they don’t shift or slip in the way dentures sometimes do.
Mini Dental Implants
It’s true that mini dental implants are a cheaper, quicker and simpler fix for patients in need of a tooth replacement. However, like anything in life, if it sounds too good to be true — it probably is.
As their name suggests, mini dental implants are smaller in size than traditional implants. That’s why patients that don’t have sufficient bone density to support a full size implant may choose a mini dental implant. The surgery for mini dental implants is less invasive than what is required for a traditional implant. There is no need for an abutment, because a mini implant has a small ball at the end of it in which the replacement tooth can be attached to. As a result, the new tooth can be secured without this third piece.
However, this is why mini implants are not as structurally secure as traditional implants. A mini implant receives less support from the jawbone than a traditional implant does. Therefore, if you do not have adequate vertical bone to support the implant, this probably is not the best choice for you.
Further, a patient who suffers from teeth grinding is not an ideal candidate for mini implants. Teeth grinding can wear the implant down prematurely.
A mini implant is an acceptable alternative if a traditional implant is not possible to a lack of bone density, but traditional dental implants are undoubtedly the more secure and durable option, and well worth the investment.
Caring for Dental Implants:
Dental implants require the same vigilant care as natural teeth. Floss once a day, and brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Be sure to use an extra soft-bristled toothbrush while your gums are still sensitive after the dental implant procedure!
Your smile is everything, and losing a tooth can be traumatic and bring down your self-confidence. Dental implants allow you to speak, eat and smile normally again, without worrying about how the loss of your former teeth could affect your daily routine. Talk to your dentist about whether dental implants are the best choice for you.
Do you have any questions about dental implants? Call Westermeier Martin Dental Care to schedule an appointment with your dentist 716-508-4547.