Mini Dental Implants (MDIs) have changed the face of implant placement. Unlike full implant placement where multiple dental visits are required, MDIs eliminate the need for surgery. The development of long term MDIs now allows the dentist to place anchors in the jaw during one noninvasive treatment. The most common use for MDIs is the stabilization of dentures and overdentures. MDIs firmly anchor the dental prosthesis, which means there is no longer any need to suffer with ill-fitting, loose dentures.
MDIs are designed to eliminate bone grafting and expedite treatment. Full implants require significant bone grafting and a recovery period. The latent period allowed the anchor of the implant to properly embed itself into the jawbone. The smaller size of MDIs means that no recovery period is necessary, and the denture can be fitted the same day.
What is the configuration of mini dental implants?
An MDI is a tiny dental implant (similar to a screw) that is designed to act in place of a natural tooth root. MDIs are generally constructed from titanium and are either sprayed with calcium phosphate, or contain it along the length of the screw portion. The design and structure of MDIs promotes quick healing and long lasting results. The head portion of the implant looks very much like a ball. This ball fits firmly into the retaining mechanism and together these structures hold the dentures at a designated level. The dentures sit comfortably on the gum tissue and are able to withstand significant amounts of pressure and natural force.
What are the advantages of MDI placement?
MDIs are a true innovation for people who are reluctant to have invasive dental surgery and for denture wearers. One significant advantage MDIs have over full implants is that they offer a viable treatment choice for patients who have experienced extensive bone loss. Depending on the quality and density of jawbone available at the implant site, four of these mini implants may be implanted at one time. Unlike full implants, MDIs don’t require invasive surgery, which makes MDIs a gentler option. MDIs also minimize cost. Full-sized implants can be expensive to place, especially if many visits are required. The most common use for MDIs is to stabilize a lower denture, however they can be placed anywhere in the mouth.
Here are some of the other advantages associated with MDIs:
- Better smelling breath
- Clearer speech
- Easier chewing and biting
- Easier cleaning
- Firmer denture fit
- High success rate. Less discomfort
- No cutting or sutures
- No need for adhesives or messy bonding agents
- No rotting food beneath the denture
- No slipping, wobbling or discomfort
- Permanent results
- Quick treatment time
- Reduced costs
How are mini dental implants placed?
The whole mini dental implant placement procedure takes approximately one hour. Generally, in the case of lower jaw implants, four MDIs will be placed about 5mm apart. Prior to inserting MDIs, the dentist will use many diagnostic and planning tools to find the optimal place to implant them.
Here is a brief overview of the MDI placement procedure:
- A mild anesthetic is administered.
- A small hole is drilled in the jawbone to situate each MDI.
- Each implant is screwed into place and tightened with a winged wrench.
- Finally, a ratchet wrench is used to fully stabilize the MDIs.
- The denture is measured against the mini implants and marks are made to indicate where the MDIs will fit.
- The denture is sent to the laboratory to have holes drilled to accommodate the MDIs.
Once the denture has been fully modified, it can be affixed to the MDIs. The rubber O-ring on each MDI snaps into the designated spot on the denture, and the denture then rests snugly on the gum tissue. MDIs hold the denture comfortably in a tight-fitting way for a lifetime.
In almost all cases, no stitching is required and no real discomfort is felt after the procedure. After the denture placement procedure is complete, light eating can be resumed. The denture can be removed and cleaned at will. MDIs enhance the natural beauty of the smile and restore full functionality to the teeth.
If you have any questions or concerns about mini dental implants, please ask your dentist.