Dental implants have long represented the premier method of securing dental crowns, dental bridges, and dentures in the replacement of missing teeth. If dental implants have had any downside whatsoever, it stems from the fact that many patients must undergo a bone grafting procedure before they can be considered suitable candidates for treatment. This is because traditional dental implants require a certain amount of bone density for support; however, the jawbone begins to degrade once a tooth has been lost. Fortunately, modern restorative dentistry has developed a potentially ideal solution to this issue in the form of mini dental implants, available at the Seattle practice of Dr. Mark Caggiano.
If you are missing one or more of your natural teeth, you may benefit from mini dental implants, even if you have been told in the past that you were not a good candidate for traditional dental implants. During your initial appointment, Dr. Caggiano will thoroughly examine your mouth to determine whether mini dental implants are suitable for your particular case and advise you accordingly. If he finds that you would be better served by traditional implants, with or without a bone grafting procedure, he will inform you of this. As a patient of Dr. Caggiano’s, you can expect that he will keep your best interests at the forefront of your dental care at all times.
Are you interested in learning more about mini dental implants? Schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Caggiano at his state-of-the-art Seattle dental office today.
What are mini dental implants?
Like traditional dental implants, mini dental implants are posts, similar to screws, composed of a strong titanium alloy. The primary differences between traditional dental implants and mini dental implants is that the former have a diameter of 3.75mm while the latter range in diameter from 1.8mm to 2.9mm. A traditional implant also has a hollow center to accommodate an abutment, to which the dental restoration will eventually be affixed. A mini dental implant is a single piece, comprising both the implant post and the abutment.
Both traditional and mini dental implants act as artificial tooth roots once they are surgically embedded in the jaw. Because the human body does not recognize titanium as a foreign substance, the jawbone and the mini dental implant fuse together – essentially, the mini dental implant becomes part of the patient’s natural anatomy. As a result, mini dental implants provide far superior support for restorations compared to other methods, such as the dental crowns used to hold traditional fixed bridges in place or dental adhesives used to secure removable dentures.
Mini dental implants were originally intended as temporary devices. However, they are currently approved by the FDA for the long-term restoration of missing teeth.
What are the advantages over mini dental implants over traditional implants?
Mini dental implants are not inherently “better” than traditional dental implants; however, there are cases in which they offer unique advantages.
They can be used to place one-day, immediate-load dentures.
Using advanced diagnostic imaging technology, Dr. Caggiano may be able to plan and execute the stabilization of lower-arch dentures on as few as four mini dental implants. This minimally invasive procedure involves the placement of four implants in the lower jaw without the need for flap surgery and a lengthy recovery period. Suitable candidates are able to have either their new, specially crafted dentures or, if feasible, their retrofitted existing dentures placed atop their mini implants on the day of their surgery.
They reduced the need for bone grafts.
Many patients who would require bone grafts in order to become suitable candidates for traditional dental implants may be able to receive mini dental implants without bone grafting. This is due in part to the small diameter of the mini implants and in part to Dr. Caggiano’s meticulous case planning.
They are generally less expensive than traditional implants.
In general, treatment with mini dental implants is less expensive than treatment with traditional dental implants. This is due to several factors, including the lesser likelihood of patients having to undergo a preliminary bone grafting procedure, the fact that a separate abutment does not have to be ordered, and the fact that there are usually fewer office visits associated with mini dental implant restoration.
Are there cases in which traditional dental implants are recommended over mini implants?
Yes. While mini dental implants certainly have an important place in implant dentistry, and they are sometimes preferable to traditional implants, there are still cases in which traditional implants are the superior choice. For instance, if you are looking to replace a single molar that will have to withstand significant chewing pressure on a daily basis, a traditional dental implant is more likely to endure over time than a mini implant. Likewise, if you suffer from bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding, you may be a better candidate for traditional dental implants.
During your consultation with Dr. Caggiano, he will discuss all of your tooth replacement options, including traditional and mini dental implants, with you in detail. He will explain the benefits and risks associated with each so that you can make an informed, confident decision regarding your treatment.
Learn More about Mini Dental Implants
At Seattle’s Best Smiles, we proudly offer the most advanced techniques and technologies in restorative dentistry to return form, function, and oral health to the mouths of patients who are missing teeth. Mini dental implants at our Seattle practice represent one of the true breakthroughs in implant dentistry. If you would like to find out whether you are a suitable candidate for mini dental implants, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mark Caggiano by contacting Seattle’s Best Smiles today. Don’t forget to inquire about our sedation dentistry options.
We are pleased to offer mini dental implants to patients throughout the greater Seattle area, including Kirkland, Woodinville, Madison Park, and Capitol Hill.