In the past, there was only one type of dental implants available. Advances in dentistry led to the development of the mini-implant. When deciding on an implant, you have to choose between the mini and the traditional. To help you with your decision-making, here are some of the differences to consider.
One of the biggest differences between a mini implant and a traditional one is the size of the implant. Traditional implants are 3.7 millimeters in diameter. In some instances, it can be larger. By contrast, a mini-implant is 3.0 millimeters in diameter.
Although traditional and mini implants have relatively the same end result, there are differences in how the procedures are performed. A traditional dental implant has two parts to it. The implant has an external screw that is placed in your jawbone. After the screw is placed, your jawbone and gums need time to heal. Once healing is complete, the implant is attached to the screw.
A mini implant differs in that it is one piece. The piece is a screw that has a ball-shaped ending that sticks out of the jawbone. The implant is then used to support full or partial dentures. The denture is able to securely snap onto the implant and eliminates the need for adhesive.
Traditional implants can be pricey. A single implant can start at $2,400. If you require additional procedures, such as a bone graft, the price can be as high as $10,000. Some of the costs associated with the procedure can be covered by insurance, but the actual implant usually is not. Many insurance companies consider it a cosmetic procedure.
A mini implant is typically less expensive. How much less depends on whether or not you need a full or partial denture to secure to the screwed-in implant. Partial dentures tend to start at $300, while a full size denture can start at $600.
A major difference between a mini implant and traditional is the lifespan of each. A traditional dental implant can last a lifetime with good dental care. Although the procedure is expensive, you never have to worry about replacing its components as long as you take care of them.
With a mini implant, you will have to replace the dentures at some point. Dentures can last several years before needing replacement.
Consult with your dentist if you are still unsure which option would work best for you.