In the world of oral implants, there are now many options to choose from.
In years gone by, if you were not suited for the traditional or endosteal implant, you would not be able to have this restorative procedure performed. But this had the obvious disadvantage of excluding many older people, who may not have the strongest jawline or may have degenerative disorders such as osteoporosis.
So, dental teams did a bit of research and came up with some different variations on the endosteal implant; the zygomatic, the subperiosteal and, the most modern addition, the mini or micro implant.
In this article, the mini implant will be looked at, so you can decide if this may be the option for you and your dental situation.
Are mini implants as good as regular implants?
This is tough to answer; regular dental implants Melbourne can support up to 8 prosthetic teeth at a time, can be fitted anywhere in the mouth and are long-lasting.
Mini implants are usually fitted when a patient has a single or 2 teeth missing, as this implant is not designed to support any more weight. Also, they are more suited to being fitted to the lower jaw. But are they as good aesthetically? Absolutely!
How are they fitted?
Much like an endosteal implant, mini options involve the gentle exposure of the jaw and a small hole being drilled, all while you are under local anaesthesia. Your dentist will then fit the implant, and there will be some designated sewing to place the gum back together.
But, as mentioned before, these are mini implants and so, the hole that is drilled is not as deep or as wide as those for other implants, so the fitting tends to be quicker.
Do they need a long fusing time?
No; as they do not go as deep into the jaw as endosteal implants, they require less fusing for them to be usable.
Typically, someone who has had mini implants fitted will have to wait between 1-3 months for them to fuse, as opposed to the regular 3-6 months of endosteal implants.
Do they offer a long lifespan?
Micro implants offer a high success rate. Indeed, many patients who have had them fitted report that they are still in place and working up to 15 years later.
But like other types of implant, they are susceptible to failure due to gum disease, inflammation caused by smoking and drinking, and can fail due to degenerative bone disorders like osteoporosis. If you have any doubts about the longevity of your implants, talk to your dental team.
Are there any contraindications?
As before, if you have osteoporosis you will need to discuss your suitability with your dental team and your doctor.
Some other conditions, such as uncontrolled diabetes, cancers or certain autoimmune disorders can also put your mini implants at a higher risk of failing. Be sure to disclose all medical conditions you have (along with any ongoing treatments or medicines) to your dentist before the fitting.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.