If you are missing many teeth from your mouth, you have several options for replacing them. You could go with a traditional, partial, or full denture, or if you're not enthused with the idea of a denture sliding around in your mouth and making it tough for you to eat certain foods, you could opt for a mini dental implant instead.

What are mini dental implants?

Mini dental implants are also sometimes known as implant-supported dentures. They consist of several metal rods which are inserted into your jaw bone through a surgical procedure. These rods attach to a set of specialized dentures. You can attach and remove the denture as needed.

What are the benefits of mini dental implants?

Unlike standard dentures, implant-supported dentures do not slip around when you talk or attempt to eat certain things. Since they are firmly anchored to your jaw bone, they feel more natural, and they can look more natural, too. You don't have to worry about using adhesives with implant-supported dentures.

Another option for replacing multiple teeth, of course, is having multiple standard dental implants. However, the recovery time from this procedure can be quite substantial for people who are missing many teeth. The recovery time from having mini implants installed is usually much shorter. Generally, the mini implants can be inserted in one procedure, whereas it takes two or more procedures to insert traditional implants.

Are you a candidate for mini dental implants?

If you are in generally good health, chances are good that you'll be a candidate for mini dental implants. They are often an option for people who have been told they cannot have standard dental implants because their jaw bones are weak or shallow -- less bone is required to support this type of implant.

The procedure to insert mini implants is surgical, however, so you must be healthy enough to undergo and heal from surgery in order to be considered for this procedure. If you have an immune disorder, your dentist may feel you're a poor candidate for the mini implants, since you may be prone to infection. Patients with uncontrolled diabetes may also not be candidates, since they tend to heal poorly.

If you are missing multiple teeth and don't wish to deal with the discomfort and awkwardness of standard dentures, talk to your dentist about mini dental implants. They're becoming increasingly common and have helped many patients reclaim their smiles.