At Desert Family Dental we want all of our patients to enjoy the good quality of life that a healthy, well-functioning mouth can bring. For our patients who wear dentures, this is not always the case. We often see patients who suffer from discomfort or chewing and speaking problems, due to ill-fitting dentures.
Denture-wearers can experience the following problems, especially after years of use:
- Trouble eating
- Loose denture (slips, wobbles)
- Trouble speaking
- Dentures that fall out
- Continually sore mouth
For years, dental implants have provided a wonderful opportunity for patients who have lost their teeth to regain good oral function. By implanting artificial titanium roots into the jaw, we can create an attachment for dentures. Implant-supported dentures are more stable and less likely to loosen during everyday use. Mini dental implants present a viable alternative to traditional implants. They are less invasive, require less recovery time, and are more affordable.
If you are looking for a simple way to permanently restore missing teeth, mini dental implants may be a viable option. Call our Mesa, Arizona dental office at 480-838-4185 to learn more about mini dental implants or schedule a consultation with Dr. Scott Lee.
What Are Mini Implants?
Mini implants are a relatively new treatment option in implant dentistry, having been used for approximately five to 10 years in most communities. They offer a wide array of benefits that may make them right for patients who have been unable or unwilling to go through the surgical procedures required for standard dental implants. One benefit of mini implants is that they can stabilize dentures in the same way as full-sized implants. They also prevent the bone loss and facial collapse that happen with continued use of traditional dentures.
Mini implants are smaller than standard dental implants, at 1.8 to 3.3 mm in diameter and 10 to 15 mm in length (regular implants are 3.4 to 5.8 mm wide). The smaller size allows them to be implanted into jaws that have experienced bone loss without the need for a bone graft. Their size also means they require a less invasive surgical procedure and less recovery time. No surgical flap is required during the placement of mini dental implants, so swelling and healing time are reduced. In many cases, patients can use their new, securely attached dentures the same day of procedure; in all cases the recovery time will be far shorter than the 6+ months usually needed for standard implants.
Who Can Benefit from Mini Implants?
The most common use for mini implants is to support a lower denture. Upper dentures tend to fit relatively well, as they create suction with the hard palate, which typically allows patients to eat and talk normally. Lower dentures are a different story, as the lower palate is soft and the tongue tends to make the denture move and slip, creating an unpleasant experience for the patient. As years pass, bone loss in the lower jaw can further exacerbate a poor fit and sore mouth.
Many patients come to us because they have fought instability in their lower dentures for years, and they want a more comfortable, better fitting solution. Some of these patients are good candidates for standard implants, but those who have been missing their lower teeth for an extended period of time may have lost too much bone for successful placement of full-size implants.
Years ago, these patients simply had to accept ill-fitting lower dentures as their only choice. Fortunately for this group of people, mini implants can be placed in very narrow ridges, where traditional dental implants simply would not work. Mini implants are also more cost effective than traditional implants, and in some cases can be attached to the denture immediately.
If you suffer from poorly fitting dentures, call our Mesa, Arizona dental office at 480-838-4185. We offer free consultations to help you determine whether mini implants might be the solution for you.