Hoffman Dental offers an alternative to traditional dental implants
A mini-implant is a bone screw; constructed from titanium and many times coated via plasma spraying, anodizing, etching, or sandblasting to increase the surface area and osseointegration potential of the implant to the jawbone, on an electron-microscopic level.
Basically, a mini-implant is the same proven science as a standard-platform implant, it is just a one-piece design and is placed in most cases, without the need of open surgery.
Mini-implants are called "mini" because they are smaller in diameter than standard-platform implants, so they can be placed in areas that standard-platform implants cannot be placed.
Many patients normally interested in implants would require a separate bone grafting procedure to add height or width to an atrophic ridge, in order to properly prepare the location for a predictable implant outcome. With mini-implants, this is most often not the case.
A mini implant is an artificial root that is screwed into the jaw to hold a replacement tooth, denture, or bridge in place. These are great for those who are missing one tooth, or would like to secure their loose fitting dentures at a fraction of the cost of traditional implants!
Another main difference between the two types of implants is the loading phase. Most standard-platform implants must heal for 4-6 months before they can be used by the patient for chewing.
With mini-implants most often this is not the case, they can be used in 3-months and in quite a few cases, they can be loaded the same day they are placed!
Healing is much different in these two types of implants as well. Standard-platform implants usually require a "larger" surgical procedure to properly place. In many instances this leads to slightly increased discomfort for a few days, to a week.
With mini-implants, most patients experience no discomfort at all. Many patients come back for the 24-hour post-op appointment and state they slept well and experienced "zero" discomfort of any kind.
Mini-implants have successfully been treatment planned and placed as single tooth restorations for single crowns, bridge abutments where no teeth were present to place a bridge, pier abutments for long-span bridge support, as well as the common placement for denture stabilization and partial-denture stabilization. In short, mini-implants open a new avenue for patients that previously could not move forward with standard-platform implants, in many cases.
It is worth mentioning, no two surgeries are the same; therefore, results and level of discomfort will vary per procedure.
However, with that said, most patients are very happy that they did not require an additional bone grafting surgery to prepare for the implant, they had less post-operative discomfort, the mini-implant was able to be loaded much more quickly for use, and the entire procedure cost less money, with fewer, shorter, appointments.
Not all patients will qualify, or be best served, with mini-implants. There are cases that standard-platform implants are the best treatment option and in those cases mini-implants will not be a treatment option.
Again, each person is unique and different in their needs and requests. Dr. Hoffman will thoroughly discuss these options with each patient to determine which type of implant would best be utilized to properly restore any location that can benefit from implant therapy.