Dental implants are among the top choices for those with tooth loss due to tooth decay, trauma, or periodontal diseases. This method of tooth restoration comes in many types that the patient can choose from. One of these is mini dental implants – a newer type of dental implant that uses a one-piece implant of smaller size than usual. The diameter is less than 3 millimeters (mm), which is equivalent to 1/10 of an inch in comparison with that of 2.25 to 5 mm of a traditional implant.

mini dental implants

Mini implants can benefit people not eligible for normal dental implants. However, there are some limitations as well. Want to learn more about this new tooth restoration technique? Read on and find out with us Sydney Dental.

Dental implant

1. The use and candidacy of mini dental implants

Mini dental implants function as the replacement for a single lost tooth or multiple teeth. They also play as a support for dentures.

These implants are not a go-to thing for every individual, especially children or people with a developing mouth. The reason is if the bone continues to grow, it may enclose and cover the mini implant. In addition, patients with bruxism, which is the medical term for teeth grinding or clenching, are not a good candidate for mini implants.

Risk factors for mini dental implants include certain underlying health conditions, including:

  • Bone disorders;
  • Periodontitis;
  • Blood clotting disorders;
  • Vascular conditions;
  • Diabetes;
  • Any conditions that interfere with healing of the bone and wound.

Other factors can also reduce your eligibility for a mini implant surgery. These include:

  • Poor oral hygiene;
  • Use of anticoagulant medications;
  • Use of medications that disrupt healing of the bone;
  • Radiotherapy or chemotherapy;
  • Smoking.
mini dental implants
mini dental implants

2. What are the pros and cons of mini dental implants?

2.1. The upsides

More durable than dentures and dental bridges

Dentures and dental bridges are also among the options to replace missing teeth. However, these are not as long-lasting as dental implants in general and mini implants in particular.

Facial shape maintenance 

When the mini implants are secured in your jawbone, it helps maintain the size and position of your teeth as well as your jaw.

Natural looks

Mini implants, just like traditional implants, are similar to your natural teeth to the eyes and touch.

Enhanced oral wellness

Similar to normal implants, mini implants keep more of your original teeth intact, as no tooth reduction or alteration is required to support the implant. This can boost your oral health in the long run. Additionally, individual implants give teeth space to breathe, thereby improving your mouth hygiene.

Less invasive surgical procedure

Mini implants can be inserted using local anesthesia, also known as numbing medication. The procedure is far less invasive in comparison to traditional implants and possibly not as painful.

Quick recovery time

Smaller size and less invasive procedure mean quicker healing time in patients receiving mini dental implants.

Less expensive

The treatment costs for mini implants differ depending on certain factors. However, most of the time, they are less costly than conventional dental implants.

Less jawbone needed

Normal-sized implants require the patient to have sufficient jawbone to hold the implants in place. As mini implants are smaller, not as much jawbone density is needed. This means they are more of a good option for those with missing jawbone as a result of tooth decay, trauma, or a medical condition called osteoporosis.

No bone graft required

A bone graft is usually recommended for patients with insufficient jawbone to hold normal-sized dental implants before they can proceed with the implant surgery. The healing time for a bone graft can be a long time – of up to a year. Mini implants can be carried out without bone grafting.

Faster outcome

Normal implants are done at multiple separate visits. This allows the necessary time for the implant to be fused into the jawbone before the artificial top can be attached. Conveniently, mini dental implants are a same-day procedure, meaning patients can get everything done at only one appointment.

Fits smaller oral spaces

Mini implants are superior to traditional ones when it comes to smaller teeth, narrower openings, and smaller jaws.

Placement and repairs with less pain

The procedure to place or repair mini implants are generally less painful than that of traditional implants thanks to their smaller size.

2.2. The downsides

Mini implants play as a temporary fix and not a permanent replacement for removed teeth. More precisely, they are also referred to as temporary anchorage devices by orthodontists. Mini implants have been used as an alternative for patients who experience trouble wearing traditional implants.

Mini implants are also known as immediate-loading implants. They can be inserted right after tooth extraction. This procedure can be conveniently carried out at the same visit as the extraction. Nonetheless, that also indicates that they are not a permanent fix for your problem. A mini implant is typically in place for only several months to up to a couple of years before it is removed.

mini dental implants
mini dental implants

3. What happens during a mini implant procedure?

The dentist will first give you an X-rays to determine where to insert the mini implants in your mouth. After the X-rays, the dental provide will:

  • Numb up your jaw and gums with local anesthesia;
  • Make a small access hole in your jaw with a specialized drill;
  • Insert the mini metal post into the access hole;
  • Tighten and secure the mini post;
  • Attach the artificial tooth to the metal post;
  • Make sure that the prosthesis is rescued in place on top of the mini implant.

In many cases, no access hole is required as the threads from the screw clip onto your jawbone. Additionally, no stitches or sutures are needed for mini implants.

The exact procedure varies slightly, depending upon your dental condition and needs. For those who want multiple mini implants, all the posts are usually placed before the artificial teeth are bound on top.

4. What is the recovery from a mini dental implant like?

Healing from mini dental implants is an easy and fast process. The majority of patients can go back to their routine after 1 or 2 days following the surgery. Most of the time, they don’t even need a follow-up visit.

However, mini implant receivers may feel some soreness and pain after the treatment. This can be helped with OTC pain medications and ice therapy. The dentist may also give you some medication to alleviate any discomfort.

During your recovery time, try to refrain from sticky and hard foods to minimize the risk of loose or shifting implants. Go with liquid or soft foods such as mashed potatoes, apple sauce, soups, and smoothies. Consult with your dentist about when to go back to your normal diet.

Seek medical help immediately if you have unexpected symptoms following mini implants, including:

  • Pain that persists for days;
  • Severe pain;
  • Jaw numbness;
  • Loose or shifting implants.

5. How should you take care of your mini implants?

Mini dental implants have been around for only 2 decades. Therefore, the precise life of these implants is yet to be determined. However, they can last many years before any repairs or replacement with proper care and maintenance just like traditional implants. You can help your mini implants – and remaining natural teeth – last longer if you:

  • Commit to thorough oral hygiene. Try to keep your dental implants, false teeth, and gum tissue clean just like your original teeth by bruising, flossing, and rinsing on a daily basis;
  • Pay regular visits to the dentist. Have checkups with the dental provider to make sure your implants are functioning properly and healthy. Also receive in-clinic cleanings as advised by the dentist;
  • Avoid poor dental habits. Avoid chewing on hard foods, like ice or hard candy because these can cause breakage to your restoration like crows or even your original teeth. Also refrain from tobacco and products containing caffeine to prevent staining of teeth. If you have bruxism, meaning you grind or clench teeth, seek medical attention.

6. A little note from Sydney Dental – your trusted provider

Hopefully this read has provided you with a good idea of what mini dental implants are, the procedure, the candidacy, and how to maintain the results as well as if it is something you need for the time being. If you are still unsure of which treatment to go with for a new unforgettably stunning smile in your particular case, do not hesitate to reach out to us Sydney Dental. We are at 499-501 Ba Hat St, Ward 8, District 10, HCMC looking forward to your visit. You may also call us at (028) 3504 9440 for a free no-obligation comprehensive consultation. Your pretty, shiny smile is 100% guaranteed at Sydney Dental!


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