Smaller sizes and high-tech placement methods make more people candidates.
For those who’ve been told they’re not candidates for dental implants, it’s time to revisit the subject. According to Dr. German Gallucci, Department Chair of Restorative Dentistry at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in a recent Harvard Medical Letters article, “advancements in design and placement technologies have improved this emerging solution making this specialized procedure a more feasible solution for those who thought they couldn’t benefit from implants.”
Smaller is better for many.
Mini and regular-size implants have similar success rates and costs. Minimally invasive or “mini” implants are about half the width of regular implants but with more advantages for those who were previously unable to consider dental implants. The technology has improved to help dentists place implants with greater precision and unlike a regular-size implant with an abutment that attaches above the gum line, the mini-implant is just one piece — a post with an abutment built into it. According to the Harvard article, “the all-in-one construction helps make the prosthetic strong, despite its smaller size.”
New technology is helping dental implant surgeons like Dr. Alan Robinson of Lakeside Center for Dental Implants place implants with greater precision. Other advantages of this placement technology include:
- Faster, safer procedures – Less risk of placing the implant too close to a nerve or blood vessel. 3D x-ray imagery guides implant sizing and placement, like a “GPS” for the surgeon.
- Less invasive surgery. Instead of “flap” surgery, in which the dentist cuts a flap in the gum to insert the implant, a computer guides the dental surgeon to drill right through soft tissue to the jaw.
- More efficient tooth design. Computer technology helps design crowns that work with a patient’s own chewing patterns.
Despite their lower cost/less invasive advantages, Dr. Robinson says that mini implants aren’t for everyone. There are still times when a regular implant is the best choice and Dr. Robinson can place those as well. A consultation with the surgeon will help to determine if minis are right for your particular situation. As the Harvard article points out for those with missing teeth and low jawbone volume, mini implants may help restore one or more teeth for a more natural, comfortable feel.
To find out more, call Lakeside today at 586-228-0909 to schedule your free personal consultation to see if minimally invasive implant surgery is the answer for your oral health needs