By now, most people know about dental implants, and how they can provide the foundation for dentures that look and function exactly like your original teeth. But the advancement hasn’t stopped there. Mini implant dental procedures are becoming more common, as patients discover a better, faster way to undergo cosmetic dental surgery.
Traditional implants measure anywhere from three-and-a-half to six millimeters. While that may not seem large, it’s enough to severely limit placement options within the jawbone. Implants of this diameter require a substantial amount of surrounding bone in order to function properly. Patients with weaker or thinner jawbones used to have two options: either undergo extensive bone grafting to strengthen the area, or forego implants altogether.
However, the average mini implant dental surgeons place nowadays ranges from 1.8 to 3.0 millimeters in diameter, which turns many other portions of the jawbone into possible implant sites. The reduced size also dramatically reduces healing time, and not just through a blatant lack of bone grafts: The smaller the implant, the less pressure need be applied by the bone in order to make it strong enough to withstand the forces of chewing, so the healing process is not as long.
Think you need a single implant per missing tooth? Think again. An entire set of upper or lower teeth can be anchored to the jawbone using as few as four implants. This kind of innovation minimizes the inherent invasive nature of implant surgery, thus further reducing healing time, and thus getting people smiling and chewing faster than ever before.
Of all the cosmetic dental procedures available, dental implants (whether traditional or mini) give the patient the most realistic dental experience possible — that is, the closest look and feel to your original teeth that modern dental science can provide. As materials and techniques continue to improve, the field of cosmetic dentistry will be able to provide more and more people with the smiles they used to have, and the smiles they still deserve. Find out more about this topic here.