If you've had substantial tooth loss, find dentures to be uncomfortable or impractical and you are unable to get traditional implants, then mini dental implants might be an option for you. Mini implants are smaller implants that are used to anchor a set of dentures or a bridge rather than replace individual teeth. They still allow for the dentures to be removed for cleaning and are usually less expensive than having each tooth replaced with a full-sized implant, especially if you're missing a large number of teeth. Here are some other reasons why you might want to consider mini implants instead of only dentures.
You have bone-related issues:
If you've been wearing dentures for a while, then you probably have considerable bone loss in your jaw. Natural teeth stimulate bone regeneration in the jaw, and regular implants can do the same thing. However, dentures do not stimulate this process and the bone begins to deteriorate fairly quickly after tooth loss. The longer you go without teeth, the less likely you will be a candidate for traditional implants if you eventually decide to get them. You would probably need extensive bone grafting, which can be uncomfortable and costly. With mini implants, you don't need as much reshaping in order for them to work, as long as your bone loss isn't severe and you have enough vertical bone.
You want or require a less invasive procedure:
Mini implants require a much smaller entry point through the gum, and when they're placed, they very quickly bond to the jawbone. You will probably also require fewer posts because you're only anchoring the denture and not replacing individual teeth. Because they are basically non-surgical, healing is often faster and with fewer complications. Most implants can be done in one visit that takes a few hours or less. What's also good about these types of implants is that they, too, can stimulate bone regeneration.
You can't tolerate movement in your dentures:
Many people have a hard time wearing dentures or bridges because they can't keep them from moving around, they have a sensitive gag reflex or they have another physical problem that makes them hard to wear. Anchoring the dentures or bridges can sometimes solve these problems by limiting the denture's movement in your mouth. The mini implants also make it easier to replace and realign the dentures after you take them out for cleaning or when you need to clean the implant itself.
Usually, mini implants can only be used on the lower jaw due to bone density issues, but it's up to the dentist to determine that on an individual basis. If you've been having difficulties with traditional dentures, then you may want to check in with mini dental implants. They're not for everyone, but they can be a good alternative to feeling closer to having natural teeth without a lot of surgery and healing time.
For more information and options, talk with a dentist in your area, such as those at Cumberland Periodontal Associate.