Replacing teeth you've lost due to injury, accident or poor genetics can be a confusing affair, made all the more frustrating with the terms being used. Dental implants, implant supported dentures and mini-implants all sound vaguely similar, and without understanding what these entail it can be easy to seek out a service without being fully aware of what you're asking for.
With a little research, and proper planning, you can better prepare for the procedure you need without getting lost in technical jargon.
Implants vs. Mini-Implants
Implants, regardless of their size, are always manufactured using high-grade surgical titanium. Traditional implants rely on screws and textured posts to secure them and the prosthesis, while mini-implants simply snap into an implant. Over time, the implant bonds with your body's tissue through a process called bio-integration.
The implant process is the common denominator between all implant dentistry, regardless of the nature of the prosthesis being supported. Traditional implants are often used for patients whose teeth are a common size and have normal spacing. They are also long enough to provide substantial stability for most dental prostheses.
Unlike traditional implants, mini-implants are approximately half the width, requiring less secondary surgery to create a viable implant point. They are also less expensive, and simpler to place than larger implants. However, because of their smaller size, there may be limitations on the number of teeth which can be replaced with this technique.
Dentures vs. Implant Crowns
While similar to unsupported prostheses, dentures and crowns are available which can be mounted directly to dental implants. For those missing several adjacent teeth it is common for them to be replaced by a single prosthesis supported by several implants. On the other hand, individual teeth can be replaced using a single crown mounted to a single implant.
Using detailed imaging techniques, an implant specialist can determine whether a prosthesis will need to be supported by a traditional implant or a mini-implant. This is usually decided based on the available space between existing teeth, and the state of the patient's bones. Narrow mandible structures usually require smaller implants to avoid the risk of fracturing the bone.
Rather than setting an appointment with pre-conceived notions about what is to come, knowing a little more about the available procedures will help you maintain an open mind. You'll be in a better position to ask informed questions, which will help you feel more confident in the choice you end up making.
To learn more, contact a professional such as John V. DiGirolamo, D.D.S. with any questions you have.Share