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Everyone at the office is very friendly and helpful, and the technicians are great. I feel like Westerville Dental is very much on top of the latest screening and monitoring techniques, and I really appreciate the thoroughness of the appointments in terms of measuring gum health as well as tooth health. I chose this place when I moved down here based on the good reviews, and I haven't been disappointed.
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So glad I found this office when I moved back to Ohio. I’ve had so many bad experiences at the dentist, this place is understanding and open to my questions, they explain everything and it really seems like they care. They also have an open and inviting waiting room that is beautiful.
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Mini dental implants are a special type of tooth replacement for missing teeth. Like their full-sized counterparts, mini dental implants provide a permanent structure to replace missing teeth. While regular dental implants effectively replace missing teeth, they are not right for everyone. For those with missing teeth who want dental implants, mini dental implants may be the perfect solution.
As their name suggests, certain elements of mini dental implants are smaller than regular dental implants. However, the portion that appears above the gum line is the same, so mini dental implants look, feel and function the same as natural teeth or traditional dental implants.
About Tooth Loss and Dental Implants
While missing teeth can affect the appearance of a smile and even change the shape of a person’s face, the loss of a tooth is more than just a cosmetic issue. Missing teeth can affect the way the jaw works, for example, which can cause uneven wear on teeth. Having one or more missing teeth can also prevent a person from chewing their food properly, and this can lead to digestive issues or even alter the individual’s diet. A missing tooth creates a gap between teeth; neighboring teeth can drift into unoccupied spaces to cause misaligned teeth and worsen jaw problems, bite issues, and uneven wear on teeth.
Teeth also keep the jawbone in good health. When biting and chewing, teeth apply pressure to the jawbone. This pressure stimulates the bone to help it retain its bulk. Without the pressure of a tooth, bone loss can occur.
Dentures offer an adequate answer to missing teeth, in that they fill in the gap left by missing teeth and they work somewhat well for biting and chewing. However, dentures do not always look and feel like natural teeth; they can slip, fall out, and make it difficult to speak clearly or eat certain foods. What’s more, is that they often require more care than natural teeth.
Dental implants are strong screws inserted into the jawbone that support a ceramic crown that looks and feels just like a natural tooth. Usually consisting of two pieces, a conventional dental implant has a diameter of 3.25 to 5 millimeters (mm). Dental implants can hold one replacement tooth or hold removable dentures in place – unlike conventional dentures, though, dental implants never slip or slide.
Drawbacks of conventional implants
While dental implants are a great solution to one or more missing teeth, the dental implant process can take six to eight months and require two surgical procedures. In the first procedure, the dentist gently inserts the screw into the socket of the missing tooth. The procedure usually requires general anesthesia and sutures. The healing process can take anywhere between three and six months; during this time, the jawbone grows around the implant and secures it into place.
During the second procedure, the dentist uncovers the implant and attaches a small post to the implant. This post, known as an abutment, serves as an anchor for the artificial tooth. The dentist fits the patient with the artificial tooth after the gums have healed from the second procedure.
The lengthy process is a drawback for many patients who cannot wait eight months for replacement teeth. What’s more is that dental implants require a certain amount of bone for support; people who have been without a tooth for some time may have lost too much bone to support a dental implant.
About Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants provide many of the same great advantages of traditional dental implants, but may feature many benefits that conventional implants do not offer. In fact, mini dental implants are often a great option for people who cannot have regular dental implants due to bone loss.
Most notably, mini dental implants are smaller than full size implants, measuring less than 3mm in diameter. Mini dental implants consist of a one-piece screw that includes a ball-shaped end that will protrude from the jawbone to support the replacement tooth.
Placing mini dental implants requires less invasive techniques too. The dentist places the toothpick-sized implants over the surface of the gums, whereas dentists place regular implants under the gums. Because the procedure to place mini dental implants is less involved, it requires only local anesthesia and no sutures – healing time is faster too.
Mini dental implants can provide many of the same great benefits as traditional dental implants. They look, feel, and function as natural teeth, for example, and they will not slip or slide like dentures. These replacement teeth prevent neighboring teeth from drifting, improve the ability to bite and chew, and do not interfere with speaking or eating. Mini dental implants require the same care as natural teeth – brush teeth twice a day, floss once daily, and see a dentist for regular checkups. Best of all, mini dental implants restore the healthy appearance of an appealing smile.
To find out more about mini dental implants, contact Westerville Dental Associates. Our team of dedicated dental professionals can help you decide if mini dental implants are the right choice for replacing one or more missing teeth.