A mini dental implant is a miniature titanium implant with a round head that is placed into your jaw, which acts like the root of your tooth and has a retaining fixture that is incorporated into the base of your denture. The head of the implant is shaped like a ball and the retaining fixture acts like a socket that contains a rubber O-ring. An o-ring is placed into your denture to snap your denture securely in place. The O-ring snaps over the ball when the denture is seated and holds the denture at a predetermined level of force. When seated, the denture gently rests on the gum tissue. The implant fixtures allow for micro-mobility while withstanding natural lifting forces.
Mini-implant placement is accomplished quickly and easily in a procedure performed in our office with just Novocain or if you prefer, we can use oral conscious sedation to help make you more comfortable. A small hole is placed in your gum and the mini-implants are gently screwed into the bone. The heads of the implants protrude from the gum tissue and provide a strong, solid foundation that your denture will actually SNAP tightly on to and secure itself.
Learn more about Dentures and Partials or Dental Implants.
Am I a candidate for mini-implants?
The ideal candidate is in good general and oral health. The best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease since the mini-implants are intimately connected with the gum tissues and underlying bone in the mouth. Unless you have had radiation to your jaw, you are probably a good candidate. Individuals with uncontrolled diabetes are poor candidates. We have successfully placed implants in people that have lost nearly all of their lower jaw bone. Mini-implants are ideal for a patient whose bone density is lacking.
How successful are the mini-implants?
In my practice, I have had a 98% success rate for the lower jaw and 70% to 80% for the upper jaw. That means that only a small percentage will have to be removed. It must be recognized that all implant systems as well as natural teeth are subject to potential failure due to natural causes, including osteoporosis, poor oral hygiene, wear and tear attrition, poor health, heavy, stressful biting habits, and lack of follow-up dental maintenance care. Mini implants similarly do not carry any actual or implied guarantee as to longevity. However, the loss of a mini dental implant is a far less critical event to the patient since it may be replaced at relatively minimal cost compared to conventional implants, and with minimal associated bone or gum deterioration.
Why choose mini dental implants?
There is no surgery involved in placing mini-implants! The implant is placed directly into the jawbone, and the procedure takes less than an hour and placing the implant involves minimum trauma.
Mini implants are able to hold the lower denture securely, even with their smaller size. Mini-implants require less bone due to their small diameter than conventional implants for attachment, so more people can have them. In some cases, the denture can be attached the same day the implants are placed.