Getting dental implants is one of the best possible ways to replace missing teeth. They're efficient, effective, and look and feel like real teeth. But if you've had missing teeth for a long period of time, you might end up being told that standard dental implants aren't a good fit for you. The good news is that doesn't mean you can't get implants at all. Here's why standard implants sometimes don't work for people like you and what you can do instead.
Why Time Matters
Teeth play a role in keeping your jaw healthy. When you chew, pressure travels through the tooth to the jaw and encourages new bone cells to develop. In turn, the jaw keeps that tooth healthy and kept firmly in place.
Unfortunately, when you lose your teeth this mechanism comes to a stop. If they're missing for a long period of time, bone cells tend to be lost in the jaw and the jaw becomes thinner and weaker as a result.
The Problem With Standard Implants
The jaw needs to meet a certain threshold of both strength and durability in order to house dental implants. If it doesn't, standard dental implants could potentially crack the bone and cause more damage than good. For this reason, many dentists will recommend against standard dental implants for people who have had their teeth missing for a prolonged period of time, even if you have had another tooth replacement like a bridge or dentures in the meantime.
The great news is that there isn't just one type of dental implant. Mini dental implants are designed for this exact purpose, among others.
Mini dental implants, as the name implies, are smaller and thinner than traditional dental implants. This lets them be put in places that are smaller and thinner, like a weakened jaw bone.
While mini dental implants are a bit smaller and thinner, they do the same job as traditional dental implants. Once they're put in place, mini dental implants will start to act as a pressure bridge just like your original teeth did. This means that over time with mini implants, you may discover that your jaw grows stronger and firmer.
Mini dental implants follow the same installation process as traditional implants. If you've been holding off on asking about dental implants because you were worried that you couldn't get them, don't be. Ask a dentist specifically for mini dental implants and start enjoying their benefits.