Mini dental implants were first introduced as a temporary implant during full mouth rehabilitation. While there is no rule on how long it can be used as a temporary implant, it is implied that the mini dental implants were ultimately removed once the final denture was ready to be fitted.
The pursuit for cost efficiency and a less invasive form of implant treatment has led to the use of mini dental implants as a semi-permanent solution to stabilize loose dentures in individuals who lack adequate bone volume or not physically fit enough for conventional dental implant surgery.
Advantages of mini dental implants
1) Smaller may be better in the presence of limited bone or health
Mini dental implants are dental implants with a diameter of less than 3mm. It can therefore fit into narrow areas with limited bone volume due to their smaller diameter. This reduces the need for bone grafting procedures which increase the complexity and cost of implant care.
Mini dental implants have less number of connecting parts, are relatively easier to place and often have simple treatment objectives. All of these factors make mini dental implant treatment more affordable, compared to conventional dental implant treatment.
3) Minimally invasive surgery
Individuals who have severe chronic ailments, very elderly or overly anxious may have a preference for a treatment plan that involves minimal surgery.
4) Temporary anchorage
Mini dental implants smaller than 1.8mm, also known as micro dental implants, are routinely used as temporary “anchors” to assist in tooth movement during dental braces treatment. The micro implants are removed upon completion of braces treatment and heal without any visible scarring.
How do I decide if mini dental implants are suitable for me?
Mini dental implants are limited by its main advantage, its size. The smaller diameter reduces its physical strength and the amount of implant to bone contact. While it provides an adequate degree of stability to full dentures, it does not do so well as a single tooth replacement solution. Using it to replace a single tooth or multiple mini dental implants to support a permanent fixed dental bridge subjects the mini dental implants directly to heavy biting forces which will ultimately cause it to bend, break or loosen.
Restorative Driven Treatment Approach
The successful use of dental implants has been well documented over the last four decades. Today, potential implant patients and dentists alike have numerous different types of dental implants to choose from, ranging from size, surface coating technology and restorative options. While we celebrate our options, it also makes the decision making process harder.
One good way of making things easier is to adopt a Restorative Driven Treatment Approach. This approach can help unlock the most suitable treatment option by closely examining and understanding the functional and aesthetic improvements expected by the patient.