Questions About Short Dental Implants

Most people are aware that a standard dental implant is regularly used to replace a tooth that has been extracted or is missing due to dental trauma. However, a short dental implant is also an option. Here are a few questions and answers about short dental implants:

What are short dental implants?

Short dental implants are implants that are less than or equal to 10 millimeters in length; some are even shorter than 7 millimeters long. Implants that are more than 10 millimeters long are considered standard dental implants.

Why are short dental implants used?

Short dental implants are installed when a patient would like to receive a dental implant, but they have too little jaw bone mass to support a standard implant. They are also installed when the nerve of the upper jaw or maxilla is so close to the implantation site that a standard implant may touch or damage the nerve. Likewise, if a nerve in the alveolar bone of the lower jaw may be damaged by the use of a standard implant, a short dental implant may be used.

Can a short implant be received instead of a bone graft?

For standard dental implant patients, there must be a suitable amount of jawbone density to support the installation of the implant. The metal implant screw or rod is drilled into the jawbone. As osseointegration, which is the fusing or connecting of the bone to the implant, occurs, the implant becomes secured in place.

If there is not enough bone available for the installation of a standard dental implant, a graft can be performed to increase the jawbone's girth. The added bone used in the graft may be taken from another area of the patient's body, or it may come from a donor, such as cadaver or an animal.

When a shorter implant is used, the need for a bone graft is often eliminated. The device can be supported by a less dense area of bone.

Are there financial benefits of having a short implant?

Patients who have too little bone for a standard implant and receive a short implant may be able to save money on their implant procedure because they will not have to pay the added cost of a grafting procedure.

Similarly, there may be no need to surgically redirect or move a dental nerve for a short implant placement.

To learn more about dental implants and the type that may be suitable for you, schedule a consultation with a local dentist.