Dental implants are used to replace a missing adult tooth. Implants are a great alternative to dentures, as they are non removable and fixed in the mouth they act just as a natural tooth would. Implants are surgically inserted into the jaw with a replacement tooth mounted on top, (usually a crown or bridge). The implant is usually made out of titanium, making it very strong and sturdy/
A periodontist will surgically place the implant into the jawbone, which will then take around 3 months to fuse. Once the implant has fused, that is when the crown or bridge will be placed over the implant.
Generally implants can only be carried out on patients who have adequate jawbone to attach to the implant, and healthy gums. Standard implants can be 3mm – 6mm in width and 6mm – 15mm in length.
An alternative to a standard implant, if a patient does not have adequate bone, is a mini implant. Mini implants are only 1.8mm – 2.9mm in diameter and 10mm – 18mm long.
While mini-implants are a great alternative for patients who are unable to have standard implants there are a few things that need to be considered:
- Mini implants do not support gum tissue as well as standard implants
- Mini implants are not as strong as standard implants, therefore are unable to support crowns as well
- Mini implants are more prone to breakages and fractures
- Mini implants are harder to keep clean
- Mini implants are often cheaper, but cost more in maintenance and upkeep due to needing to be replaced more often than standard implants
If you are considering of getting dental implants in order to replace a missing or lost tooth, it is best to consult your doctor to decide which is the best option for you: Standard or Mini-implants.