If you have a gap in your smile, a dental implant is the most effective and aesthetic way to fill that gap. Like a natural tooth, a dental implant has a root, albeit a titanium one. And if there is enough room, a prosthodontist inserts this root into the gap in a patient's smile. They then add the porcelain tooth. But there isn't always enough room to insert a dental implant and its crown.
Dental Implants Are at Least 3mm Wide
The smallest dental implant is about 3mm wide. But even if your gap is 3mm wide, that's still not enough space to comfortably accommodate a dental implant of that size. You need a healthy amount of space on either side of the crown; otherwise, placement will be difficult.
But if the gap between your teeth is too small for a traditional dental implant, you still have other options available to you.
Mini-Dental Implants Are Ideal for Small Gaps
If the space between your teeth is too small for a dental implant, you could opt for a mini-dental implant instead. Some mini-dental implants are smaller than 2mm in width. This makes them ideal for patients who have lost a small tooth at the front of the mouth. In small mouths, the gap left behind by a lost incisor is often too small for a standard dental implant, for instance.
And if the space between your teeth has shrunk over time, then a mini-dental implant can help solve this problem. Although not quite as strong as traditional dental implants, mini implants are a quick solution when a space is too small for a dental implant.
But if you'd rather opt for a standard dental implant, then you'll have to undergo orthodontics to open up space.
Orthodontic Treatment Can Widen the Space
If a mini implant doesn't appeal to you, then your next best option is to use orthodontic treatment to widen the gap. Using a brace, an orthodontist can slowly push your teeth apart to make room for a dental implant. But this does take time. It could take months to widen the gap sufficiently to accommodate a dental implant.
And if you choose to take this route, a traditional metal brace is the fastest and most effective brace at creating space. But bear in mind that the healing process from a dental implant can take up to 6 months. This means it could take at least a year before you complete your treatment.
For more information on dental implants, reach out to a local dentist.