Mini Dental Implants
According to the American College of Prosthodontists, 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. In spite of the negative consequences of missing teeth, many avoid actively addressing the issue. Dental implants are considered the best way to replace missing teeth, but some patients are hesitant to choose this solution because it can require preliminary bone grafting. At the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center of Santa Fe in Santa Fe, NM, we offer mini dental implants, which can help the right candidates experience the benefits of dental implants without having to undergo bone grafting. Dr. Sean M. Healy can determine if mini implants are right for you.
What Are Mini Dental Implants?
Similar to traditional dental implants, mini implants are biocompatible titanium posts that replace lost tooth roots and provide support to crowns, dentures, and bridges. However, while the diameter of a traditional implant is usually 3.5 mm or more, mini implants are usually about 1.8 mm to 3.0 mm wide. Although Dr. Healy will recommend traditional implants whenever appropriate due to their proven outstanding success rates, there are some cases in which mini dental implants may be an excellent alternative.
A study of over 5,000 mini dental implant cases conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed a 92 percent success rate.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Dr. Healy will take several factors into account when helping you decide whether mini dental implants are a good option:
Location of the Missing Tooth: Anterior teeth are smaller than molars and do not have to withstand the same amount of force when chewing. A mini dental implant may provide sufficient support for your restoration if your missing tooth is located at the front of your smile.
Quality of Jawbone Tissue: The bone tissue of the jaw will gradually recede after tooth loss. Since mini dental implants require less bone tissue for support, you may not need to undergo a procedure to replace lost tissue if you choose this solution.
Overall Health: In order to undergo oral surgery, you should be in good overall health. Uncontrolled diabetes and habitual cigarette smoking can seriously compromise your candidacy for dental implants of any kind.
In order to determine whether you are a good candidate for mini dental implants, we will capture images of your jaw using computerized axial tomographic (CAT) scans, cone beam scans, and Panorex X-rays. These images allow us to assess the quality and quantity of your jawbone and determine whether you have enough healthy bone tissue to ensure the long-term success of your mini implants without first undergoing a bone graft or sinus lift.
Although Dr. Healy will recommend traditional implants whenever appropriate due to their proven outstanding success rates, there are some cases in which mini dental implants may be an excellent alternative.
Benefits of Mini Implants
While other restorative options are a better option than leaving missing teeth untreated, implants offer unparalleled benefits. They transmit important regenerative signals to the jawbone to prevent bone recession. Meanwhile, mini implants can sometimes support a restoration immediately after they have been placed. Traditional implants typically require several months of healing before they can support crowns, bridges, or dentures.
While traditional implants have shown outstanding long-term survival rates at well over 95 percent, a study of over 5,000 mini dental implant cases conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed a slightly lower 92-percent success rate.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are suffering due to a compromised smile, Dr. Healy can recommend a solution for you. We have several options available to help you restore the appearance and function of your smile. Schedule your consultation today by contacting us online or calling (505) 984-0694.
“I was nervous... but Dr. Healy and his nurses put me at ease, and he even gave me a call the evening after surgery to make sure I was ok.” From a Google Review