The replacement of back teeth can be complicated by loss of alveolar bone height which often accompanies tooth loss. This is made more challenging by the proximity of the back teeth to anatomic structures and the heavy chewing forces during normal function.
Bone grafting procedures to compensate for the lack of bone height have proved to be successful in providing sufficient bone quantity and quality for dental implant placement. Some individuals may however be unsuitable or unwilling to proceed with bone grafting due to the increased cost, risks or additional surgery and healing time. Short dental implants is a viable alternative for such individuals.
Advantages of short dental implants
1) Lower risk of injury to adjacent anatomic structures.
Short dental implants are dental implants with a length of between 5mm and 8mm. It can therefore fit into areas with limited bone height and decrease the risk of encroachment into the maxillary sinus in the upper arch or injury to the inferior dental nerve in the lower arch.
2) Simplified implant surgery.
The elimination of bone grafting procedures shortens the overall treatment time and keep the number of surgeries needed to a minimum.
3) Faster healing time
A straightforward surgery in the absence of the need for bone grafting often heals faster and less eventfully when compared to simultaneous implant placement and bone grafting surgeries.
4) More affordable
The elimination of bone grafting procedures also reduces the total cost of dental implant treatment.
How do I decide if short dental implants are suitable for me?
Short dental implants are limited by its main advantage, its size. The shorter implant height reduces the amount of implant to bone contact and reduces the crown to root ratio. One way to overcome these shortcomings is to use an implant that is as wide as reasonably possible and to adopt a one-for-one replacement strategy, meaning one implant for each missing tooth to be replaced.
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.