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Show Your Teeth Some Respect

Think about how many times per day you rely on your teeth. You use them to chew breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You press your tongue against them to make certain sounds when you speak. There's really no doubt about it — your teeth are important, and they deserve your respect. You can pay them that respect by visiting your dentist for regular cleaning and checkup appointments. You should also call at the first sign of dental pain, tooth discoloration, or other oral health changes. Read more about dentists and dentistry here on this blog, where we dive deep into related topics.


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Show Your Teeth Some Respect

Understanding Mini Dental Implants

by April Myers

A dental implant is a small titanium rod that dentists apply to replace the roots of a lost tooth. The dentist surgically places the device in the jawbone where the natural root of a tooth would reside. 

The implantation procedure is not lengthy, but the resulting implant wound requires a few months to completely heal. During the healing period, the cells of the jawbone integrate with the implant, holding it in position. The integration process, which is called osseointegration, stabilizes the implant and allows it to support the same levels of bite pressure as a natural tooth.

A traditional or standard implant is a popular implant option. However, there are other types of implants available, including miniature implants. These implants are often used when a standard implant is not the best option for the patient. Here is a bit of information about miniature implants and when they are used. 

What Is a Miniature Implant?

Like a traditional implant, the miniature implant, which is also called a mini implant, is used as a tooth-replacement device. Thus, the mini implants may be used in the replacement of a single tooth, or it may be applied to support multi-teeth appliances, such as dentures.

A miniature implant is a dental implant with a smaller girth than its traditional counterpart. In fact, the diameter of a miniature implant is typically only a couple of millimeters in width. Additionally, miniature implants usually consist of two components, a titanium post with a ball on its end and an O-ringed socket for the attachment of the prosthetic crown.

When Is a Miniature Implant Used?

A dentist may select a miniature implant for a number of reasons. Here are a few factors that may support the use of a mini-implant instead of a traditional implant:

  • The patient has small teeth. If a patient's teeth are unusually small, a miniature implant may be a better option to fit comfortably in the restricted space left by a missing tooth.
  • The patient's jawbone is thin. A thin jawbone may be unable to support a traditional implant. Although the dentist may consider a bone graft to thicken the bone, there may be sufficient bone material to support a mini implant without employing a graft.
  • The patient has lost a front tooth. Miniature implants are also used in the replacement of front teeth.
  • The patient needs to secure their dentures. Mini implants are often great options for patients who need denture stabilization.

To learn more about mini implants, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.