If you are wanting to replace multiple missing teeth, you may be looking at dental prostheses like bridges, dentures, or dental implants. Implants are a great restorative option since they integrate with the jaw bone and are a permanent fixture. However, in order for implants to successfully integrate, a patient needs good bone density. If your jaw bone has atrophied, you may not think you are a good candidate for implants. However, there are some treatment routes that can work for less-than-ideal candidates.
Mini implants are just smaller versions of regular dental implants and work for people who don't have good bone density. Mini implants aren't embedded as deeply into the jaw bone, so they don't require the bone density that normal implants do. If you don't want to get a bone graft, which can require several months of healing, then you usually don't need to get one for a mini implant. Some people may prefer mini implants because the surgery is less invasive and the implants are less expensive. The main downside of mini implants is that the abutments of these implants do tend to break down more easily and require replacements since they don't distribute pressure across the jaw bone as easily as traditional implants.
If you are worried about the cost of multiple implants, then you may want to look at all-on-four dentures. Unlike regular dentures which need adhesive and are less stable, all-on-four dentures sit atop four implants and snap into place. Instead of requiring implants for an entire arch, you will only need four implants — sometimes people may only need two. These implants can be situated in areas of your mouth where your bone density is the strongest. Again, like mini implants, you may not need a bone graft to get all-on-four dentures.
Socket Preservation Before Traditional Implants
If you are planning on getting lots of teeth extracted, then a socket preservation procedure can be a great way to improve bone density in preparation for implants. During the extraction process, your dentist will pack empty tooth sockets with grafting material so that you can prevent further bone density deterioration. Socket preservation can be a good way to improve outcomes for all-on-four dentures and mini-implants, but it could also set you up for traditional implants. While you may have a lengthier period of healing, socket preservation could help you avoid future bone grafts so that you can proceed with implants.
Reach out to a dentist in your area to learn more.