Similarities Between Dental Implants and Mini-Dental Implants

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Despite being different in a number of ways, dental implants and their smaller counterparts, mini-dental implants, are similar in many others. With so many different options available to anyone looking into implants, it is important to understand the differences and similarities between various dental technologies. In this article we look at what full sized and mini-implants have in common.

Similarities between full sized and mini-implants

Both types of implants are made from the same materials, either titanium or an alloy (mixture of metals) composed primarily of titanium, and hence referred to as a titanium alloy. Titanium is chosen as it is not only extremely durable, but it is also quite light, making it comfortable and reducing the risks of any potential injury to the mouth because of a weighty implant. Titanium is also broadly used in limb and joint replacement surgeries, so it is well known for being very biocompatible. This means that the body is able to accept titanium without adverse effects, allergic reactions to titanium are extremely rare.

Both mini-implants and full sized implants share the same design brief and the same essential function, they are engineered to act as artificial roots for dental prosthetics. This is to bring the structure and function of dentures and the like closer to that of normal teeth, which benefit hugely from the added support of their roots.

Each biological tooth possesses a root which runs beneath the gum to the jawbone. Roots are innervated with nerve endings and blood vessels, but their primary role is in stabilising a tooth by anchoring it to the jawbone. This means that the forces experienced by a tooth when chewing and biting are distributed along the root and into the dense and stable jawbone. This is one of the reasons why our teeth can survive years of use with the proper care and attention.

Both full sized and mini-implants work to recreate the anchoring effect of roots to promote the comfort, usability, and longevity of dentures. These implants do so very successfully, and can make a huge difference to how artificial teeth feel, look, and work. These implants also replicate another effect of biological roots, which is to conduct signals from teeth to the jawbone that maintain the bone’s density and strength.

Our bones are actually fairly dynamic tissues which respond to use by becoming stronger, and disuse by being subject to a process called resorption. The resorption of bone is a major problem amongst people who have lost teeth, and those who are using standard artificial teeth without dental implants. Each set of implants has an important role in maintaining the jawbone, working like natural roots to signal to the body that the jawbone is in use and requires a certain amount of solidity and density.

These similarities lie at the heart of both implant technologies, however there are a huge number of differences between the two procedures that are simply a consequence of the fact that mini-implants are significantly smaller than their counterparts. This results in different applications, a different group of people who can make use of each technology, vastly different surgical procedures by which they are implanted, and a considerable disparity in the cost of the two procedures.

The wealth of different implant technologies available today means that you are bound to find a set of implants that meet your needs, both dental and financial. It is always advisable to talk to your dentist about your options, and if you are looking at either implants or mini-implants, he or she might be able to tell you which route suits you best.

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