Replacing Teeth for Patients with Bone Loss
Dental implants are touted as the most successful teeth replacement option available today. Unfortunately, patients who have sustained bone loss do not always have enough bone to anchor traditional implants without a bone graft. However, these patients may still qualify for mini dental implants. About half the diameter of their traditional counterparts, these implants often eliminate the need for bone grafting. Furthermore, they can usually support a restoration immediately after placement. Dr. Thomas W. Hodge places and restores mini implants at his Batesville, MS, dental practice so that every patient can take advantage of restorative treatment.
More about Mini Dental Implants
While traditional dental implants consist of two parts – and post and an abutment – mini implants are a solid one-piece unit. They feature a ball-shaped connector that extends just beyond the gum line. Minis are available in a variety of lengths and they range from two to 3.5 millimeters in diameter. Mini implants can replace a single missing tooth, but are most often used to support an implant-supported denture.
Tooth Loss and Bone Atrophy
When tooth loss occurs, a common byproduct is jawbone atrophy. In other words, losing the stimulation from your natural tooth roots can cause the jawbone to gradually shrink over time. For this reason, many individuals have previously been told they do not qualify for dental implants. Oftentimes a bone graft procedure can improve eligibility for treatment, but it may not be enough for every patient.
When Are Mini Implants Recommended?
Mini dental implants are an excellent option for patients who are not eligible for bone grafting or those who simply do not wish to undergo extensive surgery. To qualify, patients must be in good oral health. If you have gum disease or other serious dental issues, restorative procedures must be performed prior to implant placement to improve your chances of success. Dr. Hodge can determine your eligibility for mini dental implants during a consultation at his Batesville office.
Preparing for Surgery
Before your mini implants can be placed, Dr. Hodge will need to plan your treatment. Scans and x-rays are taken so that we can determine the best locations for your new implants. These scans are often combined with digital impressions to create a surgical guide, which highlights the exact locations the implants should be placed. This preparation can significantly increase the accuracy of treatment and improve your chances of success.
What to Expect during Surgery
Mini dental implant placement is similar to traditional implant surgery. Because of mini implants' smaller size, though, the procedure can often be completed with only local anesthesia. However, sedation is still available if you are nervous about the procedure. After you are completely comfortable, Dr. Hodge can carefully insert the implants into the jawbone through small incisions in the gum and jawbone. The entire procedure can usually be completed in about one to two hours.
Once the implants have been placed, impressions are taken. These are used for the fabrication of your final restoration. Most patients can receive a temporary restoration the same day as the implant surgery. When the final one is ready, we will schedule you for an appointment to have it placed.