What’s the Difference Between Dental Implants and Mini Dental Implants?

Many patients seeking the stability and durability of dental implants wonder what the difference is between mini implants or standard sized dental implants. The basic differences are with regard to their intended function.

A standard dental implant is larger than 3 millimeters in diameter and is made up of two parts: the screw and the abutment. The screw portion of a dental implant is made of titanium, a non-toxic metal well tolerated by the body. The success of all dental implants is due to this bio-compatibility. Materials that aren’t tolerated by the body can create a response by the immune system and may lead to serious problems over time.

With a standard implant, the screw has two threaded areas: external, to screw into the bone and internal, to accommodate any components that are screwed into the implant for security. This internal area provides for the abutment. It is on this abutment that the tooth portion of a dental implant is attached. It also holds dentures firmly in place.

A mini dental implant is smaller than 3 millimeters in diameter and has one solid piece instead of screw and abutment. A mini implant has a solid screw body with a rounded ball shape that extends out of the jawbone. This rounded ball can hold a denture with a corresponding slot, keeping the restoration firmly in place.

Because they are smaller, mini implants provide less support than a standard implant. For example, four mini implants would be needed to hold a patient’s lower dentures in place securely. For the same job, only two standard sized implants would suffice.

Consult your dentist to determine if mini implants or standard implants are right to address your missing tooth or teeth. Get the right implant for your specific needs.

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