A mini implant just works like a traditional implant. The mini implant will be the perfect fit for you if you have been looking for a non-invasive and cost-effective tooth restoration procedure.

Often, mini implants are used to fill up a narrow space because they are smaller than traditional implants. However, not everyone can opt for a mini implant. Mini implants are only used to cure specific dental problems.

We at Encino Dental Implant are highly experienced in dental implant surgery. We are the go-to clinic if you have been looking for a reputable, highly qualified, and prominent dental implant expert within Encino.

Contact us to book an appointment with our dental implant experts today. We will discuss with you about your dental health, as well as explain to you whether a mini implant is the best option for you.

Like our other patients, we guarantee you 100% satisfaction. With our full-time dentists, a well-equipped clinic, and experienced staff, we are the most family-friendly dental clinic in Encino.

What are Mini Implants?

You can consider having a mini implant if you have lost a tooth, but you don’t want to replace it using a conventional restoration method. You may avoid dental surgery, which is customarily required for a traditional implant, due to many reasons. Some of these reasons include a lack of sufficient bone mass to support the dental implant or simply not wanting to undergo a painful and invasive surgery just for cosmetic purposes.

Mini implants are generally smaller than traditional dental implants. The size of a mini implant is almost half that of a conventional dental implant. This small size makes it less painful and easier to install. Due to its small size, it doesn’t have to be completely fixed inside your jaw bone. Mini implants are packaged as solid pieces, which are 3mm or less in diameter. Generally, they resemble standard implants but are much smaller. 

Mini implants have two sections: a socket and a post. The post is primarily manufactured with titanium, and it has a ball attached on its end. At the bottom of the socket, there is an O-ring. The O-ring connects the post to the 'tooth,' which is installed inside your jaw. The real 'implant’ is incredibly thin and surprisingly tiny.

A mini implant doesn’t require a high amount of bone mass as a traditional dental implant. Mini implants can make an excellent choice for individuals who have lost one or some of their teeth in an accident or for aged individuals who may be suffering from resorption. They are also a much better option than traditional dentures or bridges.

Installing a mini implant is much quicker, and you will require only one appointment. Your dentist can advise you to opt for a mini implant if your teeth are naturally small or if you intend to replace front teeth, premolars, or any other teeth located within a small gap.

Mini implants can replace almost all types and sizes of teeth, and they can be used as an alternative to fixed crowns, bridges, and dentures. They can also be used to secure loose dentures.

Titanium is the best material for securing the mini implant inside your jaw. This is because it can easily integrate with your body system and mimic the natural movement of your tooth. When you heal completely, this rod will be permanently fused with your jaw bone.

In comparison to adhesive dentures, mini implants are more comfortable and secure. They work the same way as natural teeth during chewing, eating, and biting.

Unlike removable dentures, you won’t have to worry about being embarrassed if you opt for mini implants. A mini implant can’t come out when you are in a public place or eating, because it is permanently fused with your jaw bone.

Generally, mini implants can help you restore your confidence and improve the aesthetic appearance of your smile. Also, they can help you prevent other dental health problems, including facial collapse.

Mini Implants Versus Traditional Implants

There are various options to replace missing teeth, including dentures, bridges, and implants. However, the easiest and least invasive procedure to replace lost teeth is a mini dental implant.

Unlike traditional dental implants, a mini implant doesn't need to be attached or entirely embedded into the jaw bone. Therefore, a mini implant doesn’t require a massive amount of bone mass or bone grafts. But, you might prefer traditional implants to mini implants depending on the size of your mouth and teeth and how strong and healthy your jaw is. Typically, mini implants are suitable for individuals who suffer from bone loss and jaw bone recession.

It is common for individuals who have delayed replacing a missing tooth to experience the jawbone recession. Such individuals can’t be eligible for mini implants, so they will have to opt for traditional implants.

Some advantages of mini implants over traditional implants are that they are less invasive, and they don't require complex surgical processes, they are less painful, and you won’t need any prescription medication after going through the procedure. Because of their non-complex and less invasive surgical procedures, they have short recovery time and are generally more cost-effective.

Most people believe that traditional implants are more long-lasting and durable than dental implants. This belief is false. Mini implants can last as long as conventional implants. Also, they mostly resemble traditional implants.

Take note that a mini implant is a perfect option for aging individuals who are experiencing bone resorption. During bone resorption, your body system will break down the bone tissues into calcium, which will be absorbed by the bloodstream. It is rare for a person who is suffering from bone resorption to have sufficient bone mass.

Mini implants are quicker to install. You can also start using them immediately. Mini implants can be installed in a single visit, and your dentist will only use local anesthetic methods to numb pain. On the other hand, you will need more appointments and more sutures to fix traditional implants. Your dentist may also require you to go through a bone-grafting procedure, which may take a couple of weeks or even months to complete.

Due to their small size, they cannot interfere with the nervous system of your teeth. Moreover, you will feel less pain when repairing them should something happen to them.

Furthermore, mini implants have far fewer complications than traditional implants. If you have diabetes, you should opt for a mini implant to avoid any complications that may arise during invasive surgical processes.

Traditional implants work best for individuals who have large teeth. Also, they are usually recommended for replacing molars and upper teeth due to their robust nature.

The Cost of Mini Implants

Generally, mini implants are more cost-effective than traditional implants. Unlike traditional implants where you will require multiple appointments to install them, you just need a single visit to the doctor for you to start using mini implants. Also, you will recover within 24 to 48 hours, unlike traditional implants that take between 3 to 6 months for them to heal. This means that you will waste less time and money if you opt for a mini implant, and therefore, you will be more productive.

If you opt for a mini implant, you won’t have to undergo any painful and expensive bone grafting processes. This lessens the total cost of mini implants.

As a general rule, the cost of traditional implants is usually at least twice as higher than that for mini implants. Currently, the average cost of mini implants in the United States range between $500-$1,500, while that for traditional implants falls between $4,000-$5,000. The price for installing mini-implants varies depending on the specific type of implant used and the number of mini implants you intend to insert. If you want to insert multiple mini implants simultaneously, you may be charged a much lower price than if you choose to insert them during different times. Moreover, you may incur additional costs for medical diagnostic tests, including CT scans and X-rays. The primary goal of these tests is to help your dentist to plan for the insertion process accurately.

You can sign up for a dental insurance plan to bring the costs down. Various insurance companies in California can pay for 75% to 100% of the total cost of mini implants.

The Procedure for Inserting Mini Implants

If you have been considering mini implants, you need to know the procedure of inserting them. When inserting a mini implant, your dentist will attach the titanium rod to your jawbone. This titanium rod is attached to the implant with the help of a ball and socket joint. 

On the other hand, traditional implants often need a second metallic piece during insertion, which is commonly referred to as ‘an abutment.’ This metallic piece is attached to the gums, and its primary purpose is to secure the standard implant.

Before you have the mini implants inserted, you will have to go through several diagnostic tests. These tests will enable your dentist to plan effectively for the procedure.

Once your dentist has determined a perfect location, he/she will drill a hole inside your gum tissue, insert the implant at the hole, and then tighten it with the help of specialized equipment. You will be administered a local anesthetic, so you will not feel too much pain during the procedure.

In some situations, the implant may tend to protrude above your gums, but the dentist will quickly modify it. Then, your doctor will fit on the implant of the titanium rod. The rod’s O-rings will enable it to become firmly secured inside your jawbone. This whole process will take less than two hours.

Aftercare and Recovery

During the first few days after you have inserted your mini implants, you should abstain from overly sticky or hard foods. Only eat soft foods such as mashed potatoes, smoothies, and soups.

You may experience minimal pain too. You can stop or reduce the pain by taking painkillers. But, you should be able to resume your daily routine within 24 to 48 hours.

If you start experiencing significant pain, or the pain persists even after several days, you should consult your dentist. Your dentist can prescribe some medication or rectify any problem that is causing prolonged pain.

Mini implants do not require any form of specialized care because they look and function just like your natural teeth. All you need to do is to brush them daily and visit your dentist regularly for a check-up.

If you have sensitive gums, you can purchase a soft-bristled toothbrush. Otherwise, there is nothing for you to do differently when caring for your mini implants.

Do Mini Implants Last?

Generally, mini implants are durable and long-lasting. This is why they are a perfect option for individuals who would want to restore their smiles without significantly altering their daily routine.

If you brush and floss them regularly, as well as make periodic visits to your dentist, your mini dental implants can last for a lifetime. But, since every person’s oral health is different, the effectiveness of the mini implants will vary greatly.

Certain bone diseases, including osteoporosis, may affect how long your implants last. Moreover, alcohol and drug abuse may lower the overall effectiveness of your implants and reduce their lifespan.

Habitual smokers are normally not encouraged to get implants. This is because smoking affects an individual’s periodontal health, and may result in more problems if this individual has mini implants. Removing a failed implant is extremely painful, and it may render you ineligible for a future similar procedure.

Take note that mini dental implants can last as long as traditional implants. Any problems with mini implants are usually caused by poor installation. This is why you should book an appointment with a highly qualified and reputable dentist. Certain elements, such as your bite pattern, load distribution, and other external lateral forces may affect the durability and sturdiness of your mini implants. However, an experienced dentist has the technical knowhow to handle these issues and make your implants comfortable and long-lasting.

Top Mini Implant Manufacturers

Here are the top-rated mini implant manufacturers in the United States:

  • Straumann
  • BioHorizons
  • Nobel Biocare
  • Zimmer Bionet
  • Dentsply Sirona

You can hear your dentist mentioning one or two of these manufacturers during consultations. So, if your dentist tells you that your implant has been manufactured by any company listed above, you should know that you are in trusted and capable hands.

Other reliable manufacturers of mini implants in the United States include Bego, Euro Teknika, and Alpha Bio. However, there are many more and your dentist will help you choose the right one.

Stabilizing Dentures with Mini Implants

Mini implants can be the perfect fit for you to secure your dentures. Dentures do not work the same way as your natural teeth, especially if you have had them for a long time. First, they may become loose and start moving around the mouth. These movements will make you start feeling pain within your gingiva. Next, you will begin experiencing daily inflammation, gum irritation, and bleeding.

Your dentures may also start falling off while you are in public or when eating. This will result in embarrassment, and your self-esteem and confidence will reduce.

However, you can fix these issues in the following ways:

  • Option 1 - Replacing, adjusting, or relining the dentures
  • Option 2 - Using adhesive to secure the dentures
  • Option 3 - Stabilizing the dentures with mini implants

Option 3 is the best method to stabilize loose dentures. If you opt for this method, you will find it easier to chew and talk without worrying about your dentures falling out of place. Additionally, you won’t have to deal with messy glues, which are customarily used to secure loose dentures.

Mini implants effectively prohibit the movement of the dentures. Thanks to mini implants, your dentures will remain firm throughout, and you will always feel comfortable.

However, if you have sufficient jawbone density, you can opt for a traditional implant to secure your dentures. Traditional implants are just as effective as mini implants in securing loose dentures.

Before you go through the denture stabilization process, your dentist will carry out a diagnostic test to confirm whether or not you qualify for implants. He/she will conduct a physical inspection of your current dentures to ensure that they are in perfect condition and are compatible with implants.

Then, your dentist will take 2 to 4 mini implants and place them inside an arch. Your dentures will be retrofitted around these mini implants via snap-on attachments. These attachments will hold the dentures firmly in their position.

The minimum number of mini implants that can be used in a denture stabilization process is two. Using more than two implants will increase chewing power.

You will still be able to remove your dentures so that you can clean them. This process will only take you a single appointment.

Disadvantages of Mini Implants

Although mini implants are incredibly effective in supporting loose dentures and in replacing missing teeth, they cannot be useful if you just want to replace a single tooth due to their small size. Moreover, they are less effective when stabilizing dentures for the upper jaw.

There is also a small risk that the mini implant procedure may fail. Fortunately, most mini implant procedures are ordinarily successful because they are less invasive.

Moreover, some insurance companies may be unwilling to cover for mini implants because they view them as cosmetic processes. This is why you should inquire beforehand with your insurance company whether or not they will pay for the cost of having them inserted. You should also consult your dentist for you to know upfront the total cost of inserting them.

Though mini implants are long-lasting, the restorations attached to them are not. You may find yourself replacing these restorations frequently. For example, a crown may cost between $500-$1,000. If you need multiple crowns, you will have to dig deeper into your pocket. On the other hand, dentures and bridges may be less expensive. But, you will only be required to replace your restorations if you did not take care of them properly.

Over time, after you have had your mini implants, you may start suffering from bone loss. This problem is quite common in aged individuals. In such a situation, you will have to replace your implants. Also, mini implants may cause health complications in individuals who have uncontrolled diabetes, parafunctional habits, clotting disorders, and periodontal inflammation. Make sure you disclose to your dentist about your existing and past medical conditions before having the mini implants inserted.

Overall, the advantages of mini implants outweigh their disadvantages. If you can’t benefit from them, your dentist will give you a list of other alternatives that may be perfect for you.

Choosing the Right Implant Dentist

You don’t have to wait until your teeth fall off in an accident before looking for an implant dentist. Due to the many dental offices within California, you can feel overwhelmed when deciding which one to use. Below, we list for you the various factors you should consider when choosing the right implant dentist:

  • Office hours and locations - Select a dentist who is closer to where you reside or work. This way, it will be much easier for you to schedule your appointments.
  • Check reviews and ratings - Look for a dental office that has plenty of positive reviews and comments.
  • Check the quality of service - Choose a dentist who is reputable and known for offering high-quality services.
  • Consider specialization - It is much better to select a dentist who has specialized in and has extensive experience in inserting dental implants than a generalist.

Find an Encino Implant Dentist Near Me

You must find a reliable dentist who will be committed to helping you restore your smile and confidence. Consider us as your long-term partners in cosmetic dental care. Call the Encino Dental Implant team today at 818-810-7535 for a free consultation.