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Rather than regular dental implants, many people choose mini-implants because they are cheaper. Mini-implants are ideal for specific situations, not all. You should not use them as a means to save money, as you will do yourself a disservice. Understanding mini-implants may help you make a more informed decision.
What are Mini-Implants?
Mini-implants go by many names. You can find them described as small-diameter implants, narrow-diameter implants, skinny implants and denture-retention implants. Simply put, they are the same as traditional implants but smaller. They have quite a few applications, but are not a system to use instead of traditional implants.
Their diameter comes in at less than 3 millimeters as opposed to up to 5 millimeters for standard implants. They consist of the same kind of titanium alloy as traditional implants. The procedure involved with mini-implants is also less invasive.
Who Is a Candidate for Mini-Implants?
There are many legitimate reasons to use mini-implants. Eligible candidates should look into them if they find they cannot receive standard implants. Dentists normally recommend mini-implants for people with the following conditions:
People with a lack of bone quantity that are ineligible for, disinterested in, or cannot afford bone grafts
People who use dentures and require a more secure fit or stabilization
People with health issues who are not fit to go through the rigors of a traditional implant procedure
People who are ineligible for the standard implant procedure for any other reason
You should keep in mind that the mini-implants are commonly employed to help secure dentures. In general, a wider implant is necessary to act as a solid anchor. The larger the implant, the more it can withstand daily use over the course of your life. That’s why your dental professional would likely want you to go through with the standard procedure.
There is some misunderstanding involving mini-implants and their longevity. This misconception occurs because mini-implants were originally a temporary measure. It wasn’t until researchers discovered that bone grew around the smaller implants that it became used for more permanent fixtures.
The FDA approval for using small diameter implants for long-term applications only occurred in 1997. That means that mini-implants still represent a relatively young dental procedure. This has caused a lot of people to shy away from using them at all until there is further research.
What it Means For You
You shouldn’t feel concerned. There are now thousands of successful mini-dental procedures. All you need to do is listen to your dentist’s advice. If you are one of those people who need implants, your dentist will let you know. If your dentist tells you that you are not eligible for the normal procedure, then it’s okay to bring up mini-implants. Mini-implants are an option available to you when you cannot utilize better alternatives.