When it comes to replacing a single tooth with dental implants, you might be surprised to learn that there’s more than one option. Both traditional dental implants and mini dental implants can be used to support a single crown. Depending on what you decide to get, the procedure will differ. To choose between a traditional or mini dental implant, you’ll need a basic understanding on how each type of implant is used. Ideally, the kind of implant you get should be based on your health and individual circumstances rather than price.
Traditional Dental Implants
Dental implants are used for a variety of things in modern dentistry. Implants can be used to support dentures, dental bridges and crowns. But the standard dental implant is usually an implant post supporting a single crown that’s been fixed to the implant post using an abutment. Traditional dental implants are very reliable. The procedure has been in practice for many years. By monitoring patients who’ve replaced teeth with single dental implants, dentists have concluded that implants can easily be expected to last a lifetime.
Benefits of Traditional Implants
As mentioned, traditional dental implants are a once-off investment. Once an implant is fully in place, chances are you won’t ever have to spend money on the implanted tooth again. It’s not common for implants to break and the procedure has a very high success rate, especially when performed by a dental implant specialist.
Apart from that, traditional dental implants replace the tooth root. This facilitates bone growth, thereby preventing loss of jawbone tissue. Loss of tissue in the jawbone can lead to the face looking sunken in, making a person appear older. Conversely, healthy jawbone tissue has been linked to longevity and a youthful appearance.
Perhaps the best thing about a single tooth dental implant, however, is that it’s just as strong as natural teeth – but could even be stronger in some cases. With a traditional dental implant, you won’t need to worry much about how you bite on things. If you can bite into something with your natural tooth, a traditional dental implant will be able to take the pressure as well.
Disadvantages Of Traditional Dental Implants
The major disadvantage of traditional dental implants is the procedure for getting them. The procedure for replacing a single tooth with a dental implant is one of the most expensive dental treatments available. When compared to replacing a full arch of teeth with implants, single tooth implants are much more expensive per tooth. But the procedure isn’t just pricey, it can also be very drawn out. From start to finish it takes at least a few months before your implant is completely finished.
Because patients need an adequate amount of bone in their jaws, bone grafting is often a necessary step. When bone grafting is required, the procedure can take as long as ten months from start to finish. This is because the jaw needs enough time to heal before the next phase of treatment can begin.
Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants are similar to traditional ones in many ways. The main difference is that, instead of an implant post with an abutment, mini dental implants have a screw. The implant screws used for mini dental implants have a much smaller diameter than the posts used for traditional dental implants.
Benefits of Mini Dental Implants
Unlike with a traditional implant, getting a mini dental implant doesn’t even require surgery. The implant screw is literally just screwed into the jaw without ever opening the gums to surgically implant it. This means that patients don’t need to wait months before the treatment is complete. Mini dental implants are also much cheaper than traditional ones. One of the main benefits of mini dental implants is that they can often be used when a patient doesn’t have enough bone tissue to support a traditional implant. Mini implants are often used to support either a single tooth, or to hold removable dentures in place.
Disadvantages of Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants aren’t really just as good as traditional ones. Because the screw diameter is less than that of an implant post, mini dental implants aren’t as reliable as traditional ones. Mini implants also don’t preserve bone tissue as well as traditional implants do. Because the mini dental procedure is still reasonably new, dentists also aren’t sure exactly how long patients can expect their mini dental implants to last.
At the end of the day, dentists will recommend traditional implants whenever possible. In cases where it isn’t an option for a patient to get a traditional dental implant – either because the patient doesn’t have enough bone tissue, or for financial reasons – mini dental implants can be a relatively good substitute.