Dentures are one of the most common dental solutions for replacement f multiple missing teeth in the mouth. However, when you hear the term denture, you always remember the old removable device with artificial teeth.
With the advancement in dental procedures, there have been many developments in providing long-lasting fixed solutions for tooth replacement, even for the older population. Mini implant dentures are one of such advancements that have changed the way dentures are used.
Mini implant dentures, as the name suggests, is a type of overdenture which is fixed on the jaw using implants as the base. Mini implants are dental implants with a smaller diameter, a ball-like attachment that fits into the socket of the specially designed denture base.
Today’s article will highlight the benefits of the mini-implant denture. Furthermore, we will discuss the technique to fabricate it.
What are mini dental implants and dentures?
Mini dental implants, as the name suggests, are dental implants smaller than in diameter, usually 1.8 – 3 mm large. Unlike the traditional dental implants that have several parts such as the screw, collar, abutment, and prosthesis, mini dental implants are usually a one-piece construction with a ball-shaped end, which protrudes out of the jaw bone. (1)
This ball-shaped joint exposed in the mouth serves as an attachment for the socket designed on the denture base of the dental prosthesis. This design holds the denture in place for eating and speaking. However, you can remove the denture anytime for regular cleaning.
Some of the usual indications of mini implant dentures include –
- Replacement of front teeth
- Replacement of teeth located in narrow spaces
- Premolar replacement
What is the procedure to place mini implant dentures in the mouth?
Mini dental implants look similar to traditional dental implants. However, as mentioned earlier, they are smaller in dimension. Typically, the procedure for the placement of mini dental implants includes the same steps of drilling the bone and creating a space for implant placement. (2)
However, this process is less invasive, quick, and requires a short recovery period. This gives the advantage of stabilizing dentures on the same day. Usually, the denture base is specially designed by incorporating the attachments that may secure dentures’ placement over the implants such as the o-rings. Moreover, they provide comfort to the patient.
After placement of the mini-implant dentures, you might want to switch to a soft diet to get accustomed to the new prosthesis in the mouth. Continue this dies for at least one week and slowly change back to eating regular food.
What are the benefits?
Some of the benefits of mini-implant denture include –
- Do not require complex flap surgery as compared to traditional implants.
- The less invasive procedure with a faster healing process
- Do not require bone grafting due to the compact size of the implant.
- Comfortable to wear (3)
- Provides a fixed solution for tooth replacement, therefore, improves patient convenience
- Maintains the facial esthetics of the patient. Moreover, it gives a natural-looking smile
What are the drawbacks?
While there are several advantages of a mini-implant denture, let’s look at some of the drawbacks of this dental prosthesis –
- Requires vertical bone support to secure the implant properly in the jaw
- Not ideal for patients with bruxism
- The fixtures such as the O- rings may wear out over time and may require replacement (4)
What is the cost?
Several factors determine the cost of mini implant dentures, such as the material and the number of missing teeth replaced. However, mini implants cost less than traditional dental implants. On average, the cost of mini implant dentures ranges between $500 – $1500.
How to take care of mini implant dentures?
Usually, the removal and placement of mini implant dentures are slightly different from the traditional removable dentures. The dentist may demonstrate and teach the patient the best technique to remove the mini dental implant, especially for routine cleaning.
Although it might require some effort, it is essential to maintain routine denture cleaning using a denture cleaning solution and brush. Regular denture cleaning helps to remove plaque, bacteria, and food debris that may accumulate over time. (5)
Moreover, mini-implant dentures as several fixtures that have the potential to attract more bacteria and plaque. Therefore, it is best to ensure proper cleaning, seating, and denture retention.
Consult your dentist for the best products and methods you can use to clean the dentures and maintain the prosthesis’s longevity thoroughly.
Take away message
Mini implant dentures are one of the most advanced dental prosthesis that combines two procedures – the placement of mini implants and fabrication of overdenture. Typically, this dental prosthesis provides a fixed solution for the replacement of multiple missing teeth in the mouth.
Mini implants are dental implants that have a smaller dimension leading to less invasive placement procedures. Moreover, they allow for faster healing. Mini implants are single piece implants with a ball like attachment that is placed above the jaw bone. The denture is specially designed to fix the ball attachment and secured with o-rings. Mini implant dentures are affordable, durable, and comfortable.
However, one drawback of this dental device is that it may require regular removal for cleaning, which can wear away the attachments overtime. However, your dentist can guide you to use the best way of maintaining the longevity of the mini implant denture.
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