Dental Implants in Wilkes-Barre, PA

Tooth loss in adults is a widespread concern, with adults ages 20 to 64 years averaging 25.5 remaining teeth. Missing teeth can seriously hinder your quality of life, but you don’t have to settle for a disappointing smile. Dental implants can revitalize your life by replacing your missing teeth.

Dental implants anchor individual crowns for a single tooth, support multiple teeth with dental bridges, or replace an entire arch of teeth with dentures. If you have loose or uncomfortable dentures, dental implants can also stabilize them and provide the support you need.

A tried and true restorative dentistry procedure, dental implants provide an effective solution for those looking to revamp their smile. Placing dental implants involves driving a screw into the jawbone and setting a prosthetic tooth on top. While traditional implants have been the conventional option for those looking to replace their missing teeth, mini implants provide the same result with fewer drawbacks.

Traditional Dental Implants

Traditional implants are comprised of three pieces: the screw, the abutment, and the crown. The screw is driven into the jawbone and simulates the tooth’s root. On top of the screw is essentially a smaller screw called an abutment. The abutment is a support and connector for the artificial crown, which is the only visible component when you smile.

A conventional implant screw measures approximately 5 mm in diameter. Though the size of the screw helps to stabilize the prosthetic, the large diameter also poses a problem as the jawbone loses density over time. The jaw can become too narrow to encompass the screw, requiring bone grafting.

Bone Grafting for Traditional Implants

Bone grafting is an oral surgery that combats bone loss. To add density and volume to the jawbone, bone tissue is transplanted from elsewhere in your body, requiring a procedure to harvest the bone. Alternatively, tissue can be acquired from a human or animal tissue bank. The graft improves the quality of the jawbone, making it viable for a traditional dental implant.

However, bone grafting can be costly and time-consuming. Due to the recovery time, the process of replacing your missing teeth is prolonged. Before the implant can be placed, the graft needs to heal completely. This means traditional dental implants require at least two visits and sometimes more.

Mini Implants Provide A Modern Alternative

Mini implants serve the same purpose as traditional implants but with added benefits. The foundation of the revolutionary design is a small screw measuring less than 3 mm in diameter. Affixed to the end of the screw is a small ball. A rubber O-ring connects the artificial tooth to this fixture, transforming your smile with a less-invasive procedure than a traditional implant.

Due to the narrow design of the mini implant, bone grafting is typically unnecessary. For those with medical-related anxiety, eliminating the need for additional oral surgery can reduce stress, making mini dental implants an ideal choice.

For many patients, the mini implant can be placed immediately. This same-day procedure is convenient for those looking for an efficient, reliable, and long-lasting solution to tooth loss. While the length of appointments depends on each patient’s unique needs and medical history, mini dental implant recipients experience a shorter recovery time, allowing them to quickly return to speaking with confidence and enjoying the foods they love.

How Much Do Mini Dental Implants Cost?

Mini implants are a more cost-effective treatment for tooth replacement when compared to conventional implants.

The lower cost partly results from eliminating the bone grafting surgery often required for traditional implants. On top of this, the design of the mini implant—with its smaller screw and lack of abutment—not only increases comfort but also reduces costs.

Because every person’s mouth is different and each patient has a unique dental history, the overall cost of mini dental implants depends on an individual patient’s needs and goals. Investing in your smile is more affordable with mini implants. But, for those with financial limitations, financing options are available.

We work with three lenders to ensure the best rates for our patients: Ally Lending, LendingClub, and CareCredit. These companies often offer 0% interest promotions, making financing your dental procedures easier than ever. Short and long-term payment options also allow you to spread out your payments to fit your budget.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Implants

How many teeth can be replaced with implants?

Dental implants can be used to replace one tooth or many. Additional teeth do not need to be extracted for this procedure, as a single post can be placed for an individual prosthetic tooth. Dental implants can also support crowns and bridges or anchor shifting dentures.

Am I a good candidate for implants?

Any healthy patient with healthy bone is a good candidate for dental implants. However, those that grind their teeth should be aware of the damage that grinding can have on their implants, such as wear of the artificial crown and even damage to the metal posts.

Dr. Coolican will review your medical history to determine the specifics of your case and to help you make an informed choice regarding your treatment options. If you have dental anxiety, we can discuss our oral sedation options at your free consultation.

What can’t I eat with dental implants?

Aftercare for dental implants includes eating a soft diet that may include foods like oatmeal, yogurt, and soup. As you heal, you should avoid sticky or stiff foods which can loosen the implant. Once the implant heals completely, you can return to eating your favorite foods.

How long is the recovery process?

The recovery process depends on your medical history and pre-existing conditions, but you can expect a longer process and recovery period for traditional dental implants, especially if a bone graft is needed.

Mini dental implants, however, are often placed in a single visit to the office. Patients typically resume normal activities in 24-48 hours.

What are the risks associated with dental implants?

The dental implants we use in our office are made in the USA and also FDA-approved. Not all implants are created equal, so understanding where your implants come from is crucial. The dental implants Dr. Coolican uses can dramatically improve your quality of life. As with any procedure, complications may sometimes occur, though some risks can be prevented with proper oral care. Dr. Coolican will customize a treatment plan that considers your specific medical background to address your dental needs safely.

Is the implant procedure painful?

Owing to their smaller size, mini dental implants require a less-invasive procedure. As a result, patients experience less discomfort than with conventional implants. Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen can be used to alleviate any lingering soreness.

What are dental implants made of?

Dental implants are incredibly durable. They are made of titanium or zirconium posts that fuse permanently with the jawbone over time. The crown is typically made of porcelain to replicate the strength of natural teeth. For mini implants, the O-ring used to secure the crown to the post is made of rubber.

Are implants permanent? How long do they last?

Implants provide a permanent solution to replace missing teeth. Traditional dental implants are generally more long-lasting simply because of their size. Because they are larger than mini implants, conventional implants can distribute chewing force more evenly to reduce wear.

However, both traditional and mini implants are designed to last years, provided that they are cared for properly. Following oral hygiene guidelines will help maintain your implants’ quality and integrity. Frequent removal of implant-retained dentures can ultimately wear down the O-rings used in mini implants.

Other factors that could compromise the durability of dental implants include tobacco use, excessive drug and alcohol use, untreated gum disease, and conditions like osteoporosis.

What’s the difference between implants and dentures?

Traditional dentures are oral appliances that sit on top of your gums and function like natural teeth, whereas dental implants are prosthetic roots that can be used to anchor dentures for greater stability. Conventional dentures are a cheaper but temporary remedy to tooth loss. While standard dentures may be right for some, they can become flexible and loose over time, which may lead to them falling out. Dental implants offer a good solution for those experiencing frustration from slipping dentures.

Refresh Your Smile with Dental Implants

At Mint Mini Dental Implants in Wilkes-Barre, Dr. Coolican can help you regain confidence in your smile. While there’s certainly a lot to consider when making the best decisions for your dental care, we invite you to request a free consultation to discuss your individual concerns. Dr. Coolican will work with you to customize a treatment plan that fits your goals and budget.

A beautiful, natural-looking smile is attainable with dental implants. Contact us today to determine which option is right for you.