If you’ve lost your upper arch of teeth or both arches of your teeth, you may be wondering if “mini” dental implants are a good option for you, and if they can be used for upper dentures. In this guide from the office of James A. Burden DDS and Associates, we’ll discuss the basics about mini dental implants and whether or not they’re a good choice for upper dentures.
As the name implies, “mini” dental implants are a type of dental implant that are about half as thick as traditional dental implants, with a width of 1.8 to 3.3 millimeters.
Because they are so much smaller, the process of placing mini dental implants is less invasive compared to standard dental implants, and they’re very popular for supporting dentures on the bottom teeth.
This is because implant-retained dentures with mini dental implants won’t move and shift, and will stay securely in place. But though they are common in the lower arch of teeth, you may be wondering if they can be used for upper dentures, too.
The answer is “yes!” Mini dental implants can be used for upper dentures. However, the process is a bit different compared to lower arch dentures.
This is because upper dentures require more mini implants. For lower dentures, you can usually get only 4-6 mini implants. This is because gravity is working with your dentures and your implants. They will naturally sit securely on your gums when they’re snapped onto the implants, because they are not “working against” gravity.
This is not the case with upper-arch mini implants, which may require up to 10 or more mini implants to be held securely in place. Because the denture is being pulled down by gravity, it must be fastened to a larger number of mini implants.
So while it is possible to use mini implants for upper dentures, some patients opt to use standard dental implants, since this type of implant usually only requires 4 implants to support an upper denture.
Not sure what to expect when getting mini implants? After your initial consultation and treatment approval, you’ll come into the office of James A. Burden DDS And Associates for your implant placement surgery.
Then, your mouth will be cleaned and numbed. You can be sedated, if desired. A special surgical guide will be used to ensure that the implants will be properly aligned, then a drill will be used to create openings in your jaw and gum tissue.
A mini implant will be placed into each of these openings, and secured in place. This process will be repeated until every mini implant has been placed in the upper, lower, or both arches of teeth. At this time, a temporary bridge will be attached to your mini implants.
Then, you will be sent home to heal and recover for a few weeks. You will come back for several follow-up appointments to that Dr. Burden can begin building your permanent set of upper dentures, and check your recovery progress.
Once your mouth is healed and your permanent dentures have been made, you’ll come in for a final appointment, and your temporary dentures will be removed and replaced with your new, permanent implant-retained dentures.
If you’re interested in mini dental implants for either the upper or lower arch of your mouth, Dr. James Burden is here to help. Contact our office online or give us a call at (757) 229-1224 to schedule a consultation right away, and get the help you need.