The use of mini dental implants (MDIs) is on the rise. MDIs are about the diameter of a toothpick (1.8 to 2.9 millimeters with lengths between ten to 18 millimeters) and are primarily used to secure loose upper or lower dentures or partial dentures.
MDIs are particularly useful for patients who suffer from osteoporosis or otherwise aren't well enough to get the bone grafts sometimes required by traditional dental implants. Their diminutive size also allows them to replace smaller teeth where the placement of a dental implant isn't feasible or called for.
Some of the benefits of MDIs include:
- The procedure is quicker and less invasive – Since MDIs don’t require the cutting of gum tissue or sutures, Dr. Pope, Dr. Pickering, and Dr. Lewis can place the implant quickly, resulting in a shorter healing process. MDIs go directly through the gum tissue and into the jawbone.
- Lower cost – MDIs run in the range of $500 to $1500, whereas traditional dental implants can cost around $4,000.
- Less risk of surgical error – Since MDIs don't go as deep into the tissue or jawbone, there is less risk of surgical error, like hitting a nerve or sinus cavity.
- Can be used in thinner areas of the jawbone – Since MDIs don't require as much gum tissue or jawbone, they can be used in thinner areas of the jawbone, where a traditional dental implant would require a bone graft.
Although there are many advantages to MDIs, they aren't for everyone or every situation. There are some drawbacks, especially when it comes to their durability and stability. MDIs also haven't been studied nearly as much as dental implants.
Whatever your situation, it's best to speak with Dr. Pope, Dr. Pickering, and Dr. Lewis about your options, and whether an MDI or a dental implant would work best for your specific case. Schedule an appointment at our San Mateo, CA office to learn more.