Full-Size Implants Versus Mini Implants: What’s the Big (or Little) Deal?

Some things in life come in different sizes. Take chocolate, for instance. If you have the choice of a large chocolate bar or a small chocolate bar, you will probably choose the large bar. The bigger bar will last longer, which means you’ll get more satisfaction from it. But you’ll also get more sugar and more calories from it, too!

With the little chocolate bar, you might not get the quantity that you would with the bigger bar, but you’d be better able to practice moderation, and you’d have fewer calories and less sugar to worry about.

Bigger isn’t always better, but it can have its benefits. Let’s take a look at one type of dental solution that comes in a regular size and a smaller size: dental implants. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of both can help you understand how this common procedure done right here at Marineland Dental Care might be the solution for YOU!

Dental Implants: What Are They For, Anyway?

Implants are a common and permanent way to replace missing or damaged teeth. They’re a good option for patients who are missing one, some, or all of their natural teeth and want a reliable and natural-looking solution that doesn’t have to affect their healthy teeth.

Implants are posts made of titanium and are placed in your jawbone, which grows around the post in the same way that your body would for a natural tooth root. A crown, bridge, or dentures are secured on top of the metal implant.

Implants help prevent bone loss underneath the teeth roots they are replacing, because they allow you to chew like you would with your natural teeth, a process that strengthens your jawbone and keeps it from deteriorating. With proper hygiene, close to 100 percent of people with implants can keep them for a lifetime!

Full-size Implants

These are the implants you’ve likely heard about before. Although the size and shape can vary somewhat, these standard implants are typically cylinder shaped and best for someone who has enough bone structure to support the size of the titanium post. Dr. Hadley will check for your structure during his thorough examination to make sure full-size implants are an excellent solution for you.

Dr. Hadley will also make sure that you have healthy gums because they will need to grow around the implant. He’ll also find out about your overall health to make sure you don’t have any major health concerns that will cause problems during the surgery, the healing process, or even down the road after you’ve been wearing your implants for a while.

Mini Implants

Mini implants, also known as narrow or small-diameter implants, are—as you probably guessed from the name—smaller than full-size implants. They have the same basic function of replacing missing teeth, but they are a little smaller or even half the size of regular implants.

Their size can come in handy for people who don’t have enough bone structure to support full-size implants. If a patient doesn’t have enough bone for standard implants, their dentist might do what’s called bone grafting, where they’ll create the structure that’s needed to support the larger implants.

But because mini implants are smaller, they don’t require the same amount of bone, making grafting unnecessary.

If you aren’t healthy or if your health prevents you from having implant surgery, mini implants may be a better solution because they’re smaller and less invasive. They are also placed quicker in your mouth and have a better healing time, plus patients normally feel less discomfort afterwards.

Because mini implants are smaller, they can also be more affordable than full-size implants. This is even more true without having to pay for bone grafting.

It’s important for your dentist to plan carefully for mini implants, just like they would for full-size implants. Being small doesn’t mean less planning!

Some other things that your dentist has to consider in the planning process include making sure the post length is long enough and making sure there are enough mini implants to support your crown, bridge, or dentures. Keep in mind that mini implants are better suited for bottom dentures.

Your dentist will also consider whether you grind your teeth or have a bad occlusion (a bad bite). These might mean you aren’t the best candidate for mini implants because they may not last as long.

You can rest assured that Dr. Hadley will take all of these things into consideration as he helps you determine which type of implant will successfully restore your smile!

Mini or Full-Size, Call Us Today!

Contact us today for an appointment to talk with Dr. Hadley about whether full-size or mini implants are right for your dental situation. We’d love to hear from you about these options that can make your smile beautiful!

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