I was born without my upper right lateral incisor. Can a mini-implant replace it? I wore braces as a teen, and our family dentist had a dental flipper made to replace the incisor. Now, I want something more permanent. I have seen the cost of dental implants and wonder if a mini-implant will work since incisors are smaller than other teeth. If not, what other options might I have? – Thanks. Steve from RI
Thank you for your inquiry.
Dental implants are ideal for replacing missing teeth. After orthodontic treatment and creating space for tooth replacement, an implant is the only way to prevent bone shrinkage in the area. Also, an implant will last longer than other types of tooth replacement.
Will a Mini-Implant Work for a Lateral Incisor?
A mini-implant can work for a later incisor. Mini-implants are one-third the diameter of standard implants. However, they are not as strong as traditional implants.
Mini-implants have these uses:
- Replace small teeth
- Fit spaces too small for a standard implant
- Stabilize dentures
Mini-implant for an incisor
A dentist would need to perform an exam and take impressions and a CT scan of your mouth, many dentists replace lateral incisors with mini-implants. It might work for your case, too. After an exam, a skilled implant dentist will explain which implant size will work best for your case.
Dental Bridge – An Alternative to Replace a Missing Tooth
A dental bridge can replace a missing tooth. It contains at least three adjoined crowns:
- Crowns on the end of the bridge are anchors
- A center crown replaces the missing tooth
Your dentist must grind down the tooth on either side of the missing one so the end crowns will fit over your natural teeth. But if your teeth are healthy, why grind them down? Dental implants do not require work on other teeth.
Schedule consultations with at least two prosthodontists or dentists with advanced implant training to discuss your options for replacing your missing lateral incisor.
San Antonio dentists Dr. Gilberto Tostado and Dr. Karina Acuña sponsor this post.