Over the years, missing teeth have generally been replaced by removable dentures. Although dentures are undoubtedly a solution, they are not ideal as they limit the type of food you can eat and, with age, the shape of your bite or jaw changes and they eventually, therefore, fit less well. This can finally lead to discomfort and gum irritation and even speech impairment. Up until recently, the only viable alternative to removable dentures was full dental implants. Nevertheless, full implants are not a feasible alternative for all patients as they depend on the patient having a strong enough jawbone to drill into for them to be successful, plus they are much more expensive than removable dentures.
Mini-implants are the latest solution that can prove to be an excellent option. They can cost as little as a third of the cost of a full implant but can provide many of the benefits of the traditional implant because they are fixed to the jaw.
The mini dental implant procedure is relatively quick and easy and can be carried out under local anaesthesia. It is also much less painful and has a faster healing time than the procedure for traditional implants. It must be pointed out, however, that mini-implants are not suitable as single tooth replacements, their main purpose is to stabilise dentures and they are more effective on the lower jaw.
The basic procedure for placing mini dental implants – which can be completed in one day – is as follows:-
- A mild anaesthetic is administered.
- A small hole is drilled in the jawbone to place each mini implant.
- The implants are screwed into place one by one.
- The denture is measured against the mini-implants so that it can be adjusted to fit onto them exactly.
- Once the denture has been modified, it can be fixed onto the mini implants. Each mini implant has a tiny rubber band which snaps onto the denture where designated, thus holding the denture firmly in place for a lifetime.
In most cases, no stitching is required and no real discomfort is experienced after the procedure. The denture can be removed and cleaned as often as you want and the mini implants give the full functionality of natural teeth, making you finally feel absolutely relaxed and confident with your denture.
Well worth a smile!
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