What are Mini Dental Implants? Its Benefits, Indication, Contraindication and Care.

Missing teeth can be embarrassing, resulting in people hiding their smiles and lower their confidence. Whether you lost your tooth due to any traumatic injury, decay, gum problems, it is very important to not forget to smile with confidence.
Searching for a permanent solution for a lost tooth? Dental implants are your only solution. They look just like your natural teeth.

Dental Teeth Implant

Dental teeth implant. Implantation procedure or tooth crown abutments. Health care vector illustration

A dental implant is an implant that replaces a natural tooth and restores functions. These are small dental appliances that are inserted into the upper and lower jaws to help restore the functions of the mouth. Since very old times, it has been always a challenge to find out the best way to replace missing teeth. Thanks to our technologies and experimenters, we are provided with better solutions for most oral problems. Earlier, when somebody has single or multiple missing teeth, dentures were the standard way of replacing lost teeth. But the dentures are at high risk of sliding or slip around the mouth. With the advancements in surgical techniques, dental implants especially Mini Dental Implants are more successful.

What are Mini Dental Implants?

Mini implants are small tiny screws and it acts as a root as they are inserted in the jawbone and supports crowns (visible part of the tooth).

Mini implants come in four diameters

  • 1.8mm
  • 2.1mm
  • 2.4mm
  • 2.9mm

Each diameter comes in four lengths

  • 10mm
  • 13mm
  • 15mm
  • 18mm

Procedures Involved in Mini Dental Implants

When the patient enters a dental office with his main concern about the missing tooth and his confidence to smile again, the dentist will understand his/her concern in a very nice way and explains the whole procedure. He then takes the medical history of his patients, does the complete physical examination of the mouth, take X-rays. After a full assessment of overall health, your dentist will guide you on the best implant that is suitable for you and begins with
the procedure.

It has two procedures to complete the dental implant restoration process

  • Implant Placement
  • Crown Placement

In the first procedure, the implant is inserted through the gums into the bone where the tooth is missing. This implant will then acts as a secure point where the crown is placed followed by dental impressions of that tooth. Though its a single-day process,
in cases where there is less bone density or bone loss (bone resorption) due to age factors or any other, a surgical procedure is performed.

In second procedure, after proper healing of the mouth, the crown is then placed onto the implant and you get your missing tooth back. The crown would match the colour of the surrounding tooth. Don’t worry about the pain as this whole process is
carried out using local anesthesia.

Mini Dental Implant

Indications of Mini Implants

  • If there is a single missing tooth with a healthy adjacent tooth.
  • Partial loss of teeth.
  • Complete edentulism (all teeth missing).
  • Patients who don’t want to have removable dentures.
  • Patients with high aesthetic demands.
  • People with heart disease, high blood pressure have no difficulties in mini implants.
  • Old age is not a factor.
  • People taking anticoagulants (drugs that make the blood thin) like warfarin should stop taking their medicines several days before the procedure in case of an incision (cut) is necessary for implant insertion.

Contraindication of Mini Dental Implants

  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Heavy smoking
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Excess alcohol
  • Insufficient bone height/ width
  • Alzheimer’s disease (patient may be unable to insert and remove the denture after the
    implants are placed).
  • People clenching their teeth.
  • Young children who are still growing.

Benefits of Having Mini Dental Implants

  • Matches your natural teeth.
  • Supports adjacent teeth.
  • Easy to care for.
  • No risk of cavities.
  • Helps in flawless speech.
  • Maintains the shape of the face (aesthetically appealing for patients).
  • Helps in proper chewing and eating.
  • Boosts your confidence.

So, you may have few questions in your mind about the implants. Let’s talk about them!

How Long do Mini Implants Last?

Well, there is no guarantee about it as nothing in medicine or dentistry can be guaranteed. But they are the long term solution for your problem. They can last for decades if properly taken care of.

What if an Implant will Break During Insertion?

Need not panic! It’s a normal complication, especially in the areas where the bone density is very less or the bone loss (bone resorption). Your dentist will simply remove the broken implants and proceed to place another implant adjacent to the broken one.

Does Age matter in Placing MDIs?

AGE has no role in the insertion of these implants. The factors that interfere with the process are Alzheimer’s disease or osteoporosis (reduction in bone density).

Can MDI Fracture or Break while Chewing?

The answer is NO, as they are made up of a special alloy of Titanium, the chances of fracture during eating is extremely less. Unless you are involved in a fight.

Alternatives to Mini Dental Implants

  • Traditional dentures
  • Partial dentures( fixed or removable)

Mini Dental Implants versus Traditional Implants

dental implant vs Mini Dental Implant

  • Both are made of a special alloy of titanium that easily fuses with the jawbone.
  • MDIs can be inserted into a single day with minimum surgery or no surgery
    involved.
  • Traditional implants are 4-5 mm in diameter and have two parts. One of which is inserted into the bone and the second one connects to the crown and implant.
  • Mini dental implants are less than 3mm in diameter and are a single solid piece. Traditional implants have complex surgical procedures like cutting of gums, drilling a hole into the bone and inserting the implant into it and allow it to heal for few months.
  • MDIs are tiny screws; they are directly screwed into the bone and heal fast. They can be installed in a single visit with local anaesthesia and without the need for sutures.
  • MDIs are cheaper than traditional implants and are less time-consuming.

Are Mini Dental Implants Affordable?

Yes, they are worth the cost. Most people think that implants are for rich and famous people. But this is not true. Everyone can get implants according to their needs. Dentures and bridges are less durable as implants and they don’t need replacement
over time as dentures and bridges do.

Risks of Dental Implants:-

  • The dental implant is a surgical procedure; there are chances of infections at that site.
  • Pain and numbness in the area of lips, chin or gums due to damage to the nerves.
  • Surrounding blood vessels and other teeth may also get damaged.
  • Sinus problems- if the implant is put in the upper jaw and protrudes into one of the
    sinus cavities.

Care for Dental Implants

  • Use fluoridated toothpaste to brush your teeth twice daily.
  • Flossing once in a day.
  • Professional teeth cleaning twice a year.
  • Maintaining healthy gums.
  • Regular check-ups with your dentists.
  • With proper care, implants can last for a long time.
  • After surgical procedure, patients may have Swollen gums and face
  • Bruised gums
  • Pain and discomfort for the first 24-72 hours.
  • Slight bleeding
  • Within 3-7 days, the patient starts recovering.

A case study in Toronto on Mini Dental Implants

A patient named Anthony visited his dentist with the chief complaint of not being able to chew food because of his four missing lower teeth. His dentist reviewed him properly and showed him models, videos of dental implants and his previous cases with the same condition. Anthony wanted a long-lasting result and the most natural feel. He made up his choice of getting implants rather than dentures. He was happy with the final result and gained the confidence to eat out again without worrying about his denture falling out.

Conclusion

There are benefits and risks in this process but when you weigh them, the benefits are many. Consult the best and skilled dentist before undergoing any surgery and your dentist will suggest you the ideal dental implant. So, Smile with your beautiful teeth!

Dr Deepak Kansal

Dr Deepak Kansal is a dentist, who is currently working in Sri Ganganagar. He did his Bachelor of Dental Surgery from Rajasthan University of Health Science.

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