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Missing teeth can have a significant impact on both the appearance and functionality of your smile. Traditional dental implants are a popular choice for tooth replacement, but they may not be suitable for everyone. Enter mini dental implants, a special type of tooth replacement that could be the perfect solution for those with missing teeth.
The Difference Between Mini Dental Implants and Traditional Implants
As the name suggests, mini dental implants have certain elements that are smaller than regular dental implants. However, the portion that appears above the gum line is the same, ensuring they look, feel, and function just like natural teeth or traditional dental implants.
Understanding Tooth Loss and Dental Implants
The consequences of missing teeth go beyond cosmetic concerns. Tooth loss can affect the way your jaw works, leading to uneven wear on your teeth. Additionally, it can hinder proper chewing, potentially causing digestive issues or changes in your diet. A missing tooth creates a gap that neighboring teeth can drift into, leading to misaligned teeth, worsened jaw problems, bite issues, and uneven wear.
Teeth also play a vital role in maintaining the health of your jawbone. The pressure applied by biting and chewing stimulates the bone, preventing bone loss. Without this stimulation, bone loss can occur.
Drawbacks of Conventional Implants
While traditional dental implants are an excellent solution for missing teeth, they do have some drawbacks. The process can be lengthy, taking six to eight months and requiring two surgical procedures. This waiting period may not be feasible for patients who need replacement teeth urgently. Moreover, dental implants require a certain amount of bone for support, and individuals who have experienced prolonged tooth loss may have insufficient bone to support an implant.
The Advantages of Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants offer many of the same benefits as traditional implants and often provide additional advantages, making them an excellent option for individuals with bone loss who cannot have regular dental implants.
Most notably, mini dental implants are smaller, measuring less than 3mm in diameter. They consist of a one-piece screw with a ball-shaped end that extends from the jawbone to support the replacement tooth.
The placement of mini dental implants is less invasive compared to traditional implants. Dentists place them over the surface of the gums instead of under them, resulting in a less involved procedure. This means that only local anesthesia is required, and there are no sutures. As a result, healing time is faster.
Mini dental implants offer the same benefits as traditional implants. They look, feel, and function like natural teeth. They do not slip or slide like dentures, prevent neighboring teeth from shifting, improve bite and chewing abilities, and do not interfere with speaking or eating. The care required for mini dental implants is the same as that for natural teeth: brushing twice a day, daily flossing, and regular check-ups with a dentist. Best of all, mini dental implants restore the healthy appearance of your smile.
To learn more about mini dental implants and determine if they are the right choice for you, contact Westerville Dental Associates. Our dedicated team of dental professionals will guide you through the process of replacing one or more missing teeth.