Are you looking for a solution to your missing teeth or uncomfortable dentures? Mini dental implants may be the answer, as they can replace both single or multiple missing teeth, and can help stabilize dentures that are giving you trouble. Mini dental implants are smaller versions of traditional dental implants, and are becoming increasingly popular for their affordability and convenience. If you’re unfamiliar with MDIs, read on to learn more about what they are, what their benefits and drawbacks are, and most importantly, the cost of mini dental implants.
An Introduction to What Mini Dental Implants Are
The Implants Themselves
Mini dental implants are a smaller, less invasive version of a traditional implant, ranging in size of 1.8-3 mm in width. A mini dental implant is a single piece, but consists of two sections that are attached; the first is a titanium rod that is inserted into the jawbone. The titanium rod provides a stable foundation for the second section, a ball-shaped connector that sits above the gum line and secures the replacement tooth or denture via elastic o-rings.
The Procedure for Mini Implants
The first step in the process is dental x-rays, as these tell us the exact spot where the implant needs to be placed in your jawbone. From here, local anesthetic is used to numb your gums and your jaw, so that you don’t feel a thing during the implant placement. We use a tiny pilot drill to make a small hole in your gum tissue, and then insert and secure the implant in place. We can complete the entire procedure in one visit without needing incisions, sutures, or stitches for most mini dental implants. Patients can typically resume their normal activities the same day, although some may experience mild discomfort or swelling.
A Mini Dental Implant Is Good For
Mini dental implants are an excellent option for patients who are missing one or more teeth or those who are unhappy with their dentures. They are also suitable for patients who want a long-term option, but who do not qualify for traditional dental implants because of their limited bone anatomy.
How Do Mini Dental Implants Differ From Traditional Implants?
The most notable difference is the size of the titanium post or screw, as traditional dental implants have a 3.25-5 mm diameter, while mini dental implants are 1.8-3 mm in width. Due to their larger size, we must perform a more invasive procedure for traditional dental implants, causing you to wait longer before your replacement teeth can be attached, and we can only place them in patients with sufficient bone density. We’ll cover more on the difference when looking at the benefits and drawbacks of mini dental implants, down below.
The Benefits vs. Drawbacks of Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants are becoming increasingly popular as they have the following benefits over traditional dental implants:
Less Invasive. We can place mini dental implants using a local anesthetic, and they do not require cutting the gums or stitching them back together.
Faster Recovery Time. Mini dental implants heal faster than traditional implants and may cause less discomfort and swelling.
1 Appointment & Immediate Tooth Replacement. Mini dental implants can often support replacement teeth on the same day as the implant procedure, while traditional implants may take several months to fuse with the bone before they can hold prosthetic teeth.
Less Jawbone Density Required. They do not need as much jawbone mass to support them as traditional implants do. This makes them suitable for people who have lost bone density due to tooth loss, injury, or disease.
No Bone Grafting Needed. Mini dental implants can avoid the need for bone grafting, which is a procedure that adds bone tissue to the jaw to make it strong enough for traditional implants. Bone grafting can take up to a year to heal and may have complications.
Better Fit for Narrow Spaces. The smaller size, mini dental implants are perfect for patients with narrower teeth or smaller jaws.
Lower Cost. Mini dental implants cost less than traditional, since they require fewer materials and fewer visits to the office.
The drawbacks of mini dental implants include:
- Less Stability and Durability. Mini dental implants are not as strong as traditional implants because they have a smaller surface area and a simpler design. They may not last as long or withstand as much force as traditional implants (not great for those with bruxism). This also means that if you’re looking to stabilize an upper jaw denture, you may need more implants to keep it in place (10-12).
- Limited Replacement Teeth Options. Mini dental implants can only support certain types of replacement teeth, such as dentures or single crowns. They cannot support bridges or fixed dentures that replace multiple teeth at once.
- Loose Implants Require Complete Replacement. If the implant becomes loose, wears down, or breaks, the entire thing needs to be replaced because it is a single unit.
- Greater Risk of Falling Out. If a mini dental implant isn’t placed correctly, it has a greater risk of falling out, as the smaller diameter of the implant means there is less surface area (it’s the size of a toothpick); making it easier for it to slip or break.
How Much Do Mini Dental Implants Cost?
The cost of mini dental implants varies depending on several factors, including the number of implants needed, the location of the dental practice, and the complexity of the procedure. On average, the cost per implant ranges from $500 to $1,500. Additionally, the type of restoration being used can affect the overall cost, with implant supported dentures being more expensive than single-tooth replacements.
How Long Do Mini Dental Implants Last & What Does Aftercare Look Like?
With proper care and maintenance, most patients keep their mini dental implants for years, with some individuals keeping them for a lifetime. The better your oral hygiene practices are, like brushing twice a day, flossing every day, and booking yourself in for routine checkups and professional cleanings, the longer your implants will last.
Finding Mini Dental Implants Near Me
If you are looking for mini dental implants near you in Brandon or Lakeland, Florida, then consider giving us a call here at Family, Implant, and Cosmetic Dentistry. We offer complimentary implant consultations, have affordable pricing across our full suite of services, and we have flexible financing for those who may not be covered by insurance. Here at FIC, we are committed to providing personalized, exceptional care to every patient that walks through our doors. Don't hesitate to call our Brandon location at: (813) 684-7888, or our Lakeland location at: (863) 249-0205 to schedule your consultation today.