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Dental Implants Vs Mini Implants


Posted on 8/8/2017 by Dr. Franco
Dental Implant pieces Diagram at BiteLockTooth loss is a big deal. It can be caused by any number of different issues – gum disease, oral trauma, tooth decay. No matter how it happens, missing teeth need to be replaced. At Bite Lock, we offer dental implants for tooth replacement. Dental implants have become one of the top preferred methods of doing just that. However, regular dental implants are not for everyone. This is why we offer mini implants as well. However, what is the difference?

Dental Implants


Dental implants are one of the most popular options for replacing missing teeth, despite being the most recent option available. They consist of small titanium rods, which are surgically inserted into your jawbone. The rods rely on a process known as osseointegration, or fusion. As your jaw heals from surgery, the bone fuses to the implants, turning them into stable “roots” that support your replacement teeth.

There are several different types of implants available, designed to fit a variety of different needs. Single tooth implants are made to replace a single missing tooth. Multiple tooth implants (implant supported bridge) replace sections of missing teeth. Your teeth are supported by multiple implants (the exact number will be determined during your consultation). Implant supported dentures use 6 to 8 implants to replace an entire arch of missing teeth.

Mini Implants


Mini implants are a type of dental implant. A mini implant consists of a small titanium post, approximately the thickness of a toothpick. Much like regular dental implants, they require a surgical procedure for placement. The exposed end of a mini implant has a small ball, onto which your replacement teeth are affixed with elastic O-rings.

Difference Between the Two


While implants and mini implants are both options available to replace missing teeth, there are several differences between the two:
•  Regular dental implants require substantial bone mass for proper osseointegration to occur. Mini implants can be used when you have experienced bone loss, as a way to avoid dentures.
•  Mini implants are smaller than regular implants. While mini implants are about the thickness of a toothpick, regular implants are about 3.4 to 5.8 millimeters in diameter. Because mini implants are so small, they can be used for smaller teeth.
•  Mini implants do not use abutments or screws as regular implants do. Instead, the teeth are held in place by elastic O-rings on a ball at the top of the implant.
•  Mini implants can be used to stabilize traditional dentures, which helps to keep them securely in place (rather than being faced with your dentures coming loose and causing both embarrassment and pain).
•  Because mini implants are so small, the surgical procedure is much less invasive. It also means your downtime after surgery is shortened.
•  Mini implants cost less than regular dental implants.
•  Regular dental implants provide more stability, and a much longer-term solution (they are considered to be a permanent solution to tooth loss). Because they are smaller, mini implants may not be as stable, or last as long.
•  In some cases, two mini implants are needed to provide the same support as one regular dental implant.

Both dental implants and mini implants are great options for replacing missing teeth that come with numerous benefits. To find out if you are a candidate, call Bite Lock today at (469) 995-7808!

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PEDRO F. FRANCO, DDS
HOWARD B. PRICE, DDS

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