I get asked this question all the time. I like to answer this by explaining my philosophy that we try and place what size implant will fit the bone not how to make the bone fit the implant.
This patient has a multitude to dental issues. The one that I want to point out for this particular post is the thin lower ridge of bone. This is what happens over the years after teeth are extracted. This lower ridge is at most 4mm wide...not enough for a traditional size implant.
What can be offered to this patient is a block bone graft (an additional surgery prior to placing the dental implants) OR two mini dental implant to replace one molar.
Why two mini dental implants? Well two of these mini implants will disperse the force created when chewing on a molar size crown. The two mini dental implants also create the same surface area as a larger size traditional regular implant and can be done without any additional surgery, cost, discomfort and healing time.
This photograph demonstrates the versatility of the mini dental implant. Two Intra Lock minis have been placed in a thin ridge of bone. These two minis will be used to support a molar size back tooth crown.
The patient will be able to floss right to the mini dental implant to keep the area clean (crown, gum and mini dental implant). Since the crown that will be made for the minis will be a tissue level there is no part that is not accessible to be kept clean.
Dr.'s sometimes ask me how do you clean in between the two implants? Easy....we place a flossing groove to help guide the patient's floss or water pick. No different than flossing between a bridge.
Example of the underside of a mini dental implant crown. Notice the 'flossing groove'. The clinical photo shows my floss in between the two mini dental implants as I am removing the excess cement. This is the same thing the patient will do to keep the new mini dental implant crown clean...brush and floss.
The mini dental implant...a great solution to have in the dental toolbox to help patients that do not wish to undergo additional surgery prior to dental implants.
Paresh B Patel DDS Dental Implants Charlotte NC