Many folks come to Bluewater Bay Dental with concerns about whether to have mini implants or conventional implants used to fix their tooth spacing issue. Because this is a fairly common question, I’d like to share some information regarding the similarities and differences between the two. As a general rule, I believe that the basic difference between mini implants and traditional implants resides in their overall function and length of wear.
Dental implants are used to:
- replace missing teeth or a single tooth.
- hold removable dentures in place so they can be snapped on and off.
All dental implants are constructed from titanium. Titanium is unique because it’s a metal that is completely compatible with the body. There are very few metals which are bio-compatible, meaning they do not trigger an immune response in the body. For this reason, titanium has reached high acclaim in the dental community over the past 40 years.
Standard dental implants are generally made of 2 pieces with a diameter that is larger than 3mm. They have an external screw that is inserted into the bone. They also have an internal thread that allows various components (teeth, dentures, etc.) to be torqued down and attached to the dental implant.
Mini dental implants are a solid one-piece screw, less than 3 mm in diameter, with a specialized ball-shaped end that sticks out of the jaw bone. They are useful for providing support to dentures. In this way, the denture or fabricated tooth has a rubber O ring that fits around the mini implant ball.
- Because the mini dental implant is about ½ the diameter of the standard implant, it takes 2 mini implants to provide the support of one conventional implant.
- Mini dental implants are about ½ the price of a standard implant. However, when you consider it takes 2 minis to equal the strength of one standard implant, the cost becomes less of an issue.
- Conventional implants provide a longer-term solution than mini implants. The main reason for this is because they allow for better weight distribution and put less long-term stress on the jaw bone.
- Conventional implants have greater surface area which allows for stronger chewing force and long-term stability.
Overall, my preference is to use standard dental implants whenever possible. However, there are a couple circumstances that may warrant the use of a mini implant:
- Individuals with poor health often have bone degeneration which makes the mini implant the only option.
- If a short-term fix is necessary, the mini dental implant can buy some patients time until a more permanent solution is possible.
If you have a missing tooth or large space, dental implants are a great solution for your problem. Schedule an appointment today with Bluewater Bay Dental. We’ll take a look at your mouth and talk about your health and goals. Together we’ll come up with the best solution for your smile. For more information regarding our implant solutions, visit: http://bluewaterbaydental.com/