Is it possible to have mini implants and not be toothless for a few months?
“I have a right back tooth and a bottom left tooth (both noticeable when I talk) requiring attention. These are currently crowned, but the crowns keep breaking off and I lose some of the original tooth each time. Thanks.”
– Question from Bob in Bridgeman Downs, Brisbane
Dr David Kerr replies:
That is an excellent question, Bob – you’ve obviously done your research into mini implants!
Yes, you can use mini implants, however I would not recommended them as an interim solution due to two technical limitations.
Firstly, when placing the definitive implant, you need a certain amount of bone and space between the implant and the tooth, so you can be limited by the amount of space that you have, and this is linked to the second limitation.
Secondly, if the mini implant actually integrates within that interim period, which means the bone grows onto them, (which you eventually want to happen with your full implant), then you’ve got a huge problem, because then we would actually have to cut out a cylinder of jaw bone to get a mini implant out, which is a painful exercise.
The short answer is yes, but…
You can put mini implants in, but with these technical considerations I would recommend that you sit down with your dentist, take measurements, and have them go through all the ins and outs and alternatives with you.
Generally implants will integrate after 3 months,but some can start much sooner than that.
Going with mini implants is a much more expensive approach than other options, for instance using a denture, so it may not be the best interim solution for you.
We would probably recommend a partial denture, or a bonded restoration – glued into position using the teeth either side. There’s far less possibility of complications, it’s cosmetic and much less costly. It’s a nicely balanced temporary measure to get through the process towards your implants.
Remember that every situation and person is different, so naturally I would recommend consulting with your dentist.