Losing a tooth as an adult can be embarrassing, but it does not have to be an ongoing source of shame. Dental implants have long been a reliable way to fill in missing teeth, and now Dr. Raymond G. Hatland is proud to provide his patients with the additional option of mini-dental implants. Don’t worry — “mini” refers to the ease and quickness of the procedure, not the actual size of the tooth. With mini-dental implants, you can complete your smile without having to undergo an invasive procedure.
What Makes Mini-Dental Implants Different
To understand what makes mini-dental implants different, it is first important to know how traditional dental implants work. For this surgery, Dr. Hatland will insert a titanium post directly into your jawbone. Patients will then wait several months to allow the mouth to heal and the post to firmly latch to the bone. At that point, Dr. Hatland will put a prosthetic tooth on to the abutment at the end of the post. The tooth should hold in place indefinitely.
While mini-dental implants also use small titanium posts, they are even smaller — comparable in circumference to a toothpick. Rather than going beneath the gums like a traditional implant, mini-dental implants stay over the gum’s surface, making the whole procedure far less involved. Mini-dental implant posts have a small ball rather than an abutment on the end, and the (permanent) prosthetic tooth can be added to the post in the same appointment.
Pros and Cons of Mini-Dental Implants
The first thing that patients often notice is that mini-dental implants are less expensive. By virtue of it being a less invasive procedure and completable in a single visit to the office, the costs are lower.
Because mini-dental implant posts are smaller, they can squeeze into tighter spaces in your mouth, making them ideal for replacing smaller teeth. Moreover, by avoiding a more invasive surgery, you will experience far less discomfort and downtime than you would with conventional implants.
The downside to mini-dental implants is that the thinner, less secure post means that they are not as durable as regular dental implants. Although they should last for many years with proper care, that does not compare to dental implants that typically last decades or a lifetime.
Candidates for Mini-Dental Implants
Patients who want to replace a missing tooth or teeth are generally good candidates for mini-dental implants. They are an especially good choice for patients who are either unable or unwilling to undergo an invasive surgery. They are also a good solution for patients whose jaws lack adequate bone size or density to fit a full-sized implant. Patients who do not have the free time to schedule multiple dental appointments may also find mini-dental implants more convenient.
On the flipside, patients who grind their teeth are better suited for regular implants since they are more durable and structurally sound to withstand the pressure from grinding.
Speak to Dr. Hatland about Mini-Dental Implants
To determine whether mini-dental implants are a wise choice for your missing teeth, come speak with Dr. Hatland. After examining your mouth, he will be able to give a knowledgeable assessment on whether mini-dental implants are the right solution. To schedule an appointment, call his Chicago office at (773) 338-4440 or Indianapolis office at (317) 257-0794 today.