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Are Mini Dental Implants Right for You?

tooth_bonding_1 | Tieken Smiles Dentistry

When we evaluate you for dental implants, one of the factors we’ll consider is the strength of your jaw. That’s important because we embed dental implants into your jaw, which is what makes them such a sturdy foundation for restorations like dental crowns or dentures.

So what if you lack enough bone density in your jaw to support dental implants? Are there any options for you?

There are surgical options for supplementing bone, including:
Bone graft
Sinus lift
Ridge augmentation

Yet many folks are understandably reluctant to have one of these surgical procedures as they add time, expense, and cost to the process of getting dental implants. And surgery introduces the risk of infection or other complications.

Dental Implant Consultation

Fortunately, mini dental implants can be a great alternative if your jaw isn’t strong enough for full-sized dental implants. Our Dr. J. Derek Tieken, a restorative dentistry expert, can evaluate you. He’ll determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants and, if so, which implants are right for your situation.

To schedule a complimentary consultation with him in our League City, TX dentist office, call 281-942-6615.

What About Mini Dental Implants?

As you can guess from their name, mini dental implants are smaller than full-sized dental implants. They are about half the size of their full-size counterparts, so they fit more easily into tight spaces and can be used in areas with lower bone density.

Mini dental implants work well in many situations, but they aren’t right for every case. Here are some instances where we might want to use mini dental implants:
Because the procedure to place mini dental implants is typically less invasive, they often work well for an older person or a person who has a medical condition that slows healing time.
In narrow spots, a mini dental implant may simply fit more easily into the small space.
The FDA originally approved mini dental implants to stabilize dentures. They still work well for this purpose.
They are also a good choice for areas like the front of your mouth, where you likely won’t put a lot of chewing pressure on your replacement tooth.
Mini dental implants may make sense when replacing small teeth or premolars.

Benefits of Mini Dental Implants

Because of their smaller size, mini dental implants offer some clear benefits. Among them:
Less expensive. Mini dental implants cost less than full-sized implants.
Quicker procedure. In many cases, you can receive your mini dental implants and your dental restoration all in the same day. Contrast this to a traditional dental implant placement, which can involve months of healing after we place the implant in your jawbone.
Speedier healing. Because of their smaller diameter, the healing process is often quicker for mini dental implants.
Less discomfort. Because they involve less impact on your bone and tissue, you’ll likely only experience minor discomfort.

Mini Dental Implants Not Always Best Choice

Because it’s only been about 15 years since mini dental implants were approved for uses other than temporarily retaining dentures, we just don’t know as much about their long-term success rate. Full-sized dental implants are still far more common.

We probably won’t recommend mini dental implants for areas of your mouth where you exert a lot of pressure on your teeth when chewing. They can’t be placed in areas where you lack adequate vertical bone.

Because the implants are smaller, they require precise placement to stay put – especially if they are being used with a fixed bridge or similar restoration.

Dental Implant Expertise

Because mini dental implants are relatively new and can be tricky to place in your jaw, it is imperative to work with a dentist like Dr. Tieken who has extensive experience with them. He’s performed countless procedures for both full-sized and mini dental implants, so he can walk you through the pros and cons of each.

A dentist for 27 years, he’s been named a “Best Dentist” in Bay Area Houston Magazine’s annual listing for 16 years in a row. And H-Texas Magazine selected him as a “Top Dentist” from 2010 to 2016.

Because of his dental implant expertise, Dr. Tieken can also perform:
All-on-4®, a procedure that involves attaching a full arch of nonremovable replacement teeth using as few as four dental implants.
Same-day smile, a procedure in which you’ll get a full mouth of teeth on the same day you receive your dental implants.

All of the options for dental implants can seem confusing. So you’ll want to work with an experienced dental implant dentist. Call Tieken Smiles Dentistry at 281-942-6615 to schedule an appointment in our League City, TX dentist office. Or use our online form.

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