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Am I a candidate for mini implants?

Many edentulous San Diego patients are asking about mini implants, which offer a less invasive alternative to traditional implants.

mini-dental-implantsAs with their full-sized counterparts, mini-implants are effective because they integrate with the jaw bone, providing a solid anchor for a denture. Implants help to hold a denture in place, preventing embarrassing slip-ups when a patient eats or speaks. Based on the same design principles and made of the same materials as standard implants, mini implants have smaller proportions. The diameter range for mini implants is between 2 and 3 mm, while full-sized implants are generally between 4 and 6 mm in diameter. Because they’re smaller, mini implants require less bone for placement.  They’re a good option for patients who have been wearing dentures for some time and have experienced some erosion of the jaw bone as a result. In fact, long-time denture wearers often turn to mini implants when their dentures no longer fit due to changes in the shape of the jaw. Another advantage offered by mini-implants is a streamlined procedure. Mini-implants are inserted directly into the jaw bone and fuse with it immediately. They can be loaded with the denture on the same day that they are placed in the jaw. With less bone required for placement, mini implants are an option for many patients who might not be suitable for traditional dental implants. Of course, patients must be in good oral and overall health to qualify. Any serious conditions, like periodontal disease, would need to be treated before mini implants could be placed. Some other issues, such as a history of radiation treatments to the jaw, uncontrolled diabetes, active substance abuse and immuno-suppression, might also contraindicate mini implants. Additionally, patients who grind their teeth may need to address that issue before the implants can be placed so that the artificial tooth caps won’t be compromised by grinding. Our oral surgery team is experienced in placing mini-implants and will evaluate your case to determine if you are a candidate for the procedure.

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