For thousands of years, if a person lost a tooth, they were sentenced to go through life never having that tooth. Sometimes, long before their old age was reached, only one or two teeth remained. Then, along came dentures. This was revolutionary! Missing teeth could actually be replaced. A person could get full dentures made, or partial dentures to replace a few missing teeth. This solution was not perfect, but a great improvement. Then about thirty years ago dental implants came along.
Dental implants were an entirely different approach. Instead of trying to fit an object securely enough in the mouth that it would stay in place while the person ate or drank, dental implants are adhered to the jawbone, in the manner of natural teeth. With implants, just one tooth can be replaced or the full mouthful. Once in place, they can be dealt with like natural teeth, not needing to be removed to be cleaned and not coming released at inconvenient times. These standard implants often require bone grafts to build the jaw up to the point it can sustain the implant. The standard implant consists of three parts; a titanium material screw, an abutment and a crown. It may be 4mm to 6mm.
Standard implants require several trips to the dentist. First, a tiny screw needs to be inserted through the gum tissue and into the jawbone. This may require up to three months to fuse with the bone. Then the crown will be placed on the implant. It is a long process, but the end result is a beautiful smile.
The newest thing on the dental scene is mini dental implants. Minis are, as you would assume, smaller. A mini can be placed in areas that a standard implant may not be able to go. A mini is approximately 1.8mm to 2.9mm, one-piece titanium appliance. It has a one-piece titanium screw with a ball-shaped head on top and the denture on the other end. It can often be installed in just one trip to your dentist. As with the standard implants, minis can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, all of the teeth, or provide support for dentures and crowns.
The Mini dental implants are less likely to require bone grafts to the jaw bone, less invasive to have installed, they take less time, and cost less money. So why would anyone have a standard implant? There are still instances where the standard implant may best suit your needs. You will need to discuss this with your dentist, as he/she is the only one who can accurately guide you to which implant is perfect for you. Either way, you will end up with that beautiful smile that you desire.