Mini dental implants permanently take the place of missing and diseased teeth, improving a person’s appearance as well as their bite function. Dr. Ira Goldberg of Morris County Dental Associates of Succasunna has over 20 years of experience in placing and restoring mini dental implants and has helped countless patients in the Roxbury, Chester, Flanders, Randolph, Denville and Morristown area improve their smiles.
What are Mini-Implants?
A mini dental implant is a small anchor that is implanted into the jaw and then outfitted with a durable, natural-looking false tooth. A set of 4-6 mini-implants can also be used as anchors to permanently house a full arch of teeth replacements in the event of total tooth loss.
The traditional role of Mini-Implants is for denture stabilization. Dentures move around in a person’s mouth causing pain and are simply annoying. There is a great dependence upon adhesives. The placement of 4 to 5 implants in the lower jaw or 6 implants in the upper jaw eliminate these problems, including the need for adhesives.
We also utilize mini-implants for single crowns, specifically in tight places, such as lower front teeth or the upper lateral incisors. These are narrow spaces, and it can be a challenge to correct this with traditional implants.
If you have missing teeth – even total tooth loss – mini dental implants could be of beneficial.
Mini Dental Implants vs Traditional Implants
- Do not require as much healing time – the process for placing a mini-implant is less invasive than with traditional implants, so tissue around the site heals in a shorter amount of time.
- Are more cost-effective – Mini dental implants are typically ½ or 1/3 the cost of regular implants
- Ideal for patients with diminished bone volume – If you are experiencing bone loss from missing teeth, you may not need to undergo complicated bone grafting surgery to get a dental implant. Mini implants can be successfully placed even in the event of deteriorated jaw bone health.
- Can support dentures – Mini-implants are ideal for anchoring a full set of dentures, in the event of total tooth loss. You won’t need to break the bank to get the sturdy teeth replacement solution you need to improve both your smile and your bite functionality.
Mini implants are smaller in size than traditional dental implants, so we can use them in cases where traditional implants are not an option due to the shape and structure of the jaw. Because the placement procedure for mini implants is less invasive, fewer appointments are usually needed.
What can implants do to help?
- Decrease or eliminate denture movement:
- Bone loss. A denture puts pressure directly onto the jawbone, and the bone will melt away over years. This will cause dentures to become looser, nerves can become exposed and hurt, and in extreme cases, jaws can break.
- Increase chewing efficiency. A person cannot chew strongly or as effectively with dentures. Once we stabilize a denture with implants, both strength and efficiency increase dramatically. This improves nutrition, health, and overall happiness & well-being.
- Eliminate dentures altogether. Read the section below to see how you can get rid of a denture altogether!
What issues do Denture wearers deal with?
For many years, dental implants were not available. Denture wearers were (and still are) subject to a bunch of complaints and problems:
- Teeth that move and therefore rub and hurt
- The roof of the mouth being covered
- Unsightly hooks & clasps
- Inability to enjoy food: taste and texture is lost
- Poor chewing efficiency
- Increased bone loss, leading to:
- Potentially exposing nerves
- Risk of jaw fracture
- Dentures that continue to fit worse and worse as years go on
Mini Dental Implants for Dentures
When compared to removable dentures, dentures anchored by mini dental implants offer a number of distinct advantages:
- Increased stability: Because the implants secure the denture, implant-supported dentures make it easier to eat by maintaining bite power.
- Eliminate the plastic over the palate: Oftentimes, the implants provide enough stability that we can give you back the roof of your mouth. This allows you to enjoy the taste and texture of foods once again.
- Eliminate denture movement: The biggest complaint of denture wearers is the movement of the lower denture. The mini implants decrease or eliminate this movement altogether. Again, chewing efficiency increases, and overall satisfaction increases.
- Decrease or eliminate bone loss: The placement of an implant into the jaw provides stimulation to the bone, and this helps to maintain your bone. Also, the pressure placed onto the jaw from the denture is decreased, which in turn, decrease bone loss.
Mini Dental Implants Procedure
Assuming your denture is in good shape and there are no severe problems with your gums and bone, we can complete the work in one appointment. You will receive Novocaine and we will place the appropriate number of implants (4 to 6) without reflection of the gums (no cutting of your gums is necessary).
After your implants are placed, your denture will be “relined” to fit to the implants. Sometimes the reline is permanent and you are completely done at the first appointment, and sometimes it will be a temporary reline that must be replaced in a few months with the permanent reline. Regardless, the denture will still be more stable than at the start of your appointment.
If your denture is in poor condition and you need a new one, the implants will be placed at the first appointment and your existing denture can still be utilized as a temporary denture. A new denture can then be fabricated to fit to your new implants.
All dental procedures have innate risks, but unique to mini-implant procedures is the risk of implant fracture during placement. If an implant fractures it we will leave it in place until we can place another one next to it. Implants are titanium, which is a biocompatible material, so there is no need to remove it.
Could I completely eliminate my removable dentures?
Another option allows denture wearers to completely eliminate the removable appliance all together! Commonly known as All-On-Four®, Hybrid Teeth are permanent teeth which are attached to implants. Now you have teeth that you don’t have to take in and out of your mouth. Patient confidence, increased chewing ability & efficiency, decreased bone loss, and overall patient satisfaction are all benefits of this procedure.
How to Care and Maintain Mini-Implants
Immediately following placement, we will take a film. In the future, we will take additional films to compare to the initial film. We are monitoring bone levels and any potential complications. Some of the components will also wear over time (such as the rubber O-rings) and will require replacement. Your denture will also wear over time, and require replacement every 7 to 10 years. Fees also apply to these services.