As the name tends to imply, "mini" implants are basically just like standard implants but smaller in size. They range in width from 1.8 to 3.3. mm, while ordinary implants range from 3.4 to 5.8 mm. The length of mini implants is also shorter.
Minis are made of titanium, like full-sized dental implants, and fuse firmly to the jawbone. They attach to a dental crown and to supportive posts. And they can be used to support bridges or permanent dentures. The difference is that they have a ball at the end and a socket with rubber O-ring to attach to the posts. Regular dental implants typically have a screw-like end that attaches to the crown.
Why Choose Mini Implants?
There are several possible reasons why a patient might opt for mini implants instead of full-sized ones. First, they may just have a smaller mouth and teeth or like the style of minis. Second, they may not wish to (or be able to) safely go through bone graft surgery and/or soft tissue graft surgery in preparation for regular implants - which can sometimes be a necessary step.
Third, minis can usually be placed in a single day, in just one dental visit. It may take only an hour or two, and no sutures need be involved. Thus, this is a somewhat quicker, less complicated option.
What About Post-op Care & Implant Maintenance?
There really is no difference between mini-sized and full-sized implants when it comes to post-op care and ongoing implant maintenance.
Either way, your gums and mouth will be a bit sore for a while after the procedure, and you will need to avoid pressing down hard on the new tooth for at least a couple weeks. Your periodontist may prescribe you some painkillers or antibiotics too just to be safe. And you may need to avoid eating hard foods for a few days or more.
The same oral hygiene regimen needed for natural teeth applies to implant teeth as well. Regular brushing, flossing, and use of an antiseptic mouth rinse is recommended. You should see your periodontist for a check up twice a year or more to ensure your mouth is in good health for the long term.
If you are interested in getting dental implants placed in your mouth, be they mini or full-sized, be sure to consult with an experienced periodontist. In Central Florida, contact Ormond Beach Periodontics & Implant Dentistry today to schedule an appointment!