If, like approximately 60 million Americans, you are missing one or more teeth, you might be wondering whether you'll ever be able to comfortably enjoy eating foods like steak again. Fortunately, dental implants, of which there are over 1300 types, are almost as strong as natural teeth. However, for various reasons, such as bone loss, standard-sized implants are not always a viable replacement option. Conversely, shorter dental implants of 5-8mm offer several advantages.
Bone Grafting Is Not Necessary
Ordinarily, severe bone resorption necessitates the use of bone grafting to ensure there is enough bone to hold the implant in place. This can be painful, costly, and time consuming. Instead, patients may opt for shorter dental implants which require less bone for insertion.
Treatment and Recovery is Faster
If bone grafting or ridge augmentation is carried out, it may take you as much as 3 months to recover before your implant can be placed. In contrast, shorter implants can be placed in one visit.
Shorter Implants are Cheaper
Because shorter dental implants negate the need for surgery, not only are they faster, but they are also cheaper as well as less painful. If, for example, you need two dental implants to be inserted into your lower anterior (front) jawbone but the bone there is soft and sparse, bone grafting will cost you substantially more.
Nerve Injuries are Avoided
When inserting a dental implant into your lower posterior (rear) jawbone there is the risk of hitting the mandibular nerve, the nerve that runs through your lower jaw. Once damaged, patients experience diminished sensation in that area of their face. To avoid this, dentists will attempt to move the nerve before inserting a dental implant.
By opting for shorter dental implants, there is less risk of nerve damage occurring.
Shorter Implants are Easier to Insert
Naturally, because short implants require less bone, they are also much easier to insert than the longer standard implants. Recovery time is also reduced as a result.
Although in the past, short dental implants were thought to be more prone to failure than standard implants of 10-13mm in length, recent studies show that shorter implants have a comparable rate of failure.
No matter how much bone you have lost due to being edentulous, dental implants can replace your lost teeth. If you are fed of going without teeth or with having to wear ill-fitting dentures, talk to your dentist about swapping them for dental implants.