A Guide to Mini Dental Implants

The mini dental implant is a smaller version of the standard implant: it was originally designed as a ‘holding’ implant before the insertion of a full sized implant.

But, they have been found to be a useful implant in their own right and a good alternative to the full size implant. They work best as a replacement for small teeth or for securing a loose denture.

Mini implants are made from titanium alloy and are strong as a normal sized implant. They also fuse well with the jawbone.

What does a mini implant look like?

It takes the form of a slim titanium rod with a retaining fixture that can be incorporated into a denture. The head of the implant is shaped like a ball: the retaining attachment contains a rubber ‘O-ring’ that acts like a socket.

This ‘O-ring’ holds a denture in place by snapping over the ball on the top of the implant. This enables the denture to rest easily on top of the gum tissue

A mini implant is the size of a toothpick.

Who would choose a mini implant?

They are often chosen by patients who cannot afford the cost of a full sized implant or are unsuitable for a conventional implant. They are also a good option for older patients who have been refused implants on account of poor health.

If during a consultation, a patient’s x-ray shows bone loss then they will normally require a bone graft before the implant is inserted. However, they may be reluctant to do so, either for reasons of health or age.

In this case, a mini implant is a good option. This smaller yet solid form of implant costs less than a conventional implant: plus it doesn’t require the patient to undergo a bone graft either.

Are they reliable?

Yes, although there have been some reservations about their effectiveness. But, they appear to work best as a means of fixing a loose lower denture.

What is the mini implant procedure?

The procedure is quicker than that for a normal implant. Due to their size, they can little or no discomfort and are placed gently in the jawbone.

You will be given a local anaesthetic to start with. The dentist will drill a small hole or holes in the jawbone to create a place for the implant.

Due to the size of the implant, the dentist will use a small ‘finger driver’ or screwdriver to help with the insertion. He or she will use a ratchet wrench to secure the implant in place.

Your denture will be marked in a series of ‘points’ to show the position of the implants, followed by the drilling of each of these points.

Each of these points will contain a metal attachment which can snap on and off the denture. The dentist will adjust this as well as showing you how to do this.

This process usually takes around an hour. Because this is such a quick procedure you will be able to ea a light meal after the procedure.

How much do they cost?

Costs vary according to each clinic but this type of implant costs less than the normal sized implant.

What are the benefits of a mini implant?

The benefits include no more denture slipping or the risk of them falling out. Others include an improved fit, better comfort and being able to eat normally.

Dental Implant Guide Index:

Guide to dental implants

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