Mini implants for dentures, also known as permanent dentures, are a very specific and specialized type of implants. They are called “mini” because they are smaller than standard dental implants. The diameter of mini implants for dentures are about 1.8 to 2.9mm, compared to that of standard implants that are between four and five millimeters. They are shaped somewhat different than standard implants. Mini implants are designed for dentures, specifically the lower dentures, and the shape reflects their ultimate purpose. Traditional dentures are far cheaper, but lower dentures in particular tend to be problematic and difficult to fit. Some individuals never do get a good fit on their lower dentures, and spend years suffering with dentures that slip when they eat and speak, and generally irritate their mouth.
Mini implants for dentures eliminates this problem, as they are “permanently” anchored into place. Permanently is in quotation marks, because in truth, the dentist can remove the denture portion at any time, it is as simple as unscrewing them from the implants. This means that adjustments, repairs, and replacement of the lower permanent denture can be done with ease. These dentures are less invasive to surgically place, and can often be “loaded” earlier than standard dentures as well, meaning that the healing period that is usually necessary for standard implants, two to six months, is shorter or even non existent. This healing period varies from patient to patient, depending on the anatomy and other concerns. Obviously, aesthetics should not overrule good healing.
Standard implants are very expensive, and so it is typically expense that would cause someone to choose to get four or six implants, which are typical for the anchoring of a denture, as opposed to the dozens of teeth necessary to replace the top and or bottom jaw’s worth of teeth. (Humans have roughly 32 teeth.) Functionally, this method is superior than the use of permanent dentures, but the expense can run into the tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Dr. Yanni uses several types of implants, but for mini implants, he prefers Biohorizons mini implants. In some specific cases, he will use Lodi implants. Biohorizons is a preferred type because they have a 99% success rate, which reflects their stability when placed. Their small size means that the gum tissue is minimally damaged during implantation, which also really helps healing and reduces the total inflammation, which is just generally better for the gums. They are textured to attract quick bone healing. Their size also makes it easier to fit them for small teeth gaps, where a standard implant just wouldn’t fit. They are available in various heights and depths to make them usable for different tissue thicknesses. They also come with different types of sockets.
Dr. Yanni is happy to answer questions regarding mini implants for dentures and sedation dentistry. His practice is based in East Brunswick, New Jersey.