When we think about orthodontic treatment, the first thing that comes to mind is dental braces. But the fact is that orthodontic treatment is not all about braces and orthodontic wires. Instead, there are so many other appliances and materials that dentists use for straightening teeth. In fact, you would be amazed to learn that a certain type of dental implants – called mini-implants – is also used by orthodontists to fix crooked teeth.
If this is the first time you have heard about mini-implants, don’t worry; we have got you covered. This blog is your go-to guide for mini-implants and their use in orthodontics. So, continue reading to learn more about mini-implants and how they can help you achieve a healthy and balanced smile.
What Are Orthodontic Mini Screws For?
An orthodontic mini-screw is a small metal screw inserted through the gums into the jawbone. This screw acts as an anchor, allowing the orthodontic wire to generate forces and realign the teeth. So, the mini-screws offer additional anchorage and support for the braces to move the teeth and perform complex tooth movements. Mini-screws are mini-implants or temporary anchorage devices (TADs).
How Long Will Mini Implants Last?
There is no definite answer to how long mini implants will last. However, there is a limit to the amount of stress and force these implants can bear. Therefore, they are not as durable as traditional implants. Overall, mini-implants tend to last anywhere between 8-10 years. They can last even longer with proper care. So, the more you take care of your braces, aligners, and TADs, the longer they are expected to last, and the sooner you can expect your treatment to be complete.
Do Orthodontic Mini Implants Hurt?
Like any other surgical procedure, including traditional dental implants, the procedure for placing mini-implants is not painful. This is because your dentist will ensure that you remain pain-free and relaxed during the procedure by administering local anaesthesia. Furthermore, dentists may also consider performing the surgery under conscious sedation to accommodate highly apprehensive or uncooperative patients. So no, dental implants do not hurt.
What Are The Downsides Of Mini Implants?
Compared to traditional dental implants, mini-implants have the following drawbacks:
- They are not as strong or durable as conventional implants
- They may result in the wear of the opposing teeth
- They may need to be replaced after some time
- They cannot be used for replacing missing teeth in most cases
Can Mini Implants Be Removed?
Yes, mini-implants to TADs can be removed. However, they cannot be removed by the patients. Instead, they are only removed by the dentists when the desired treatment goal has been achieved.
How Long Do TADs Stay In For?
The amount of time TADs remain in the oral cavity depends mainly on the severity of the underlying case. For example, a TAD will stay in the mouth for longer if there is a complex or complicated orthodontic issue. On the other hand, TADs will need to be in the mouth for a shorter duration to treat mild orthodontic problems. Your dentist will give you an estimate of the time you need to have your TADs in after a comprehensive dental examination.
Do Mini Implants Last As Long As Regular Implants?
Although the function of traditional and mini-implants are the same, they differ in various ways. For example, there is a difference in the durability of mini and conventional implants. Typically, mini-implants are not as strong as conventional ones. Therefore, they are not expected to last as long. That is why they need to be replaced sooner than traditional implants.
However, this will not affect their function in treating crooked teeth. Why? Because straightening of the teeth with braces or Invisalign aligners can generally be completed within 1-2 years. However, when complex tooth movements are needed, TADs are placed at appropriate places for additional anchorage and support. So, the maximum usage of TADs in orthodontic treatment is about 2 years. So, their relatively shorter lifespan compared to traditional implants does not affect their function.
Can Mini Implants Be Permanent?
Typically, mini-implants are used for orthodontic purposes and are not expected to last permanently. However, in some cases where a traditional implant cannot be used, mini-implants are considered for permanent tooth replacement. For example, in patients with insufficient vertical spaces between the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed – a condition called deep bite – it is not possible to place traditional implants. In these cases, mini-implants are used instead.
Furthermore, thanks to modern dentistry, companies are using high-quality materials for manufacturing mini-implants. Therefore, the newer generation of mini-implants is durable and can be used permanently for tooth replacement. Your dentist will advise whether traditional or mini-implants are suitable for tooth replacement.
If you are about to begin your orthodontic treatment journey with fixed braces or clear aligners, you may have to get mini-implants at some stage. However, when choosing an orthodontic practice for straightening teeth, one must select an orthodontist who is qualified and has extensive experience, especially in treating orthodontic issues using TADs. If you are looking for the best orthodontic practice in Ely, your best option is Ely Smiles. Why? Because we offer all kinds of dental services under one roof. So, you can ensure that your entire family enjoys excellent dental health and a dazzling smile. So, Find out more at https://elysmiles.com/contact-us/. We look forwards to seeing you!