When you understand mini dental implants – or MDIs – you start to understand how they’re changing the way dentists and their patients think about implants. Old-fashioned full-size dental implants involve multiple office visits and invasive surgery while MDIs don’t. And that’s a big difference from a smaller, smarter implant.
During a single minimally invasive office visit, Dr. Woods and our team here at Brighton Dental in San Diego can install single-tooth implants and the necessary anchors in your jawbone for implants to stabilize dentures and hold dental prosthetics in place to resolve fit issues. Dentures can be fitted immediately. With old full-size implants, the long and complicated installation process usually involves bone grafting and a lengthy recovery period during which your ability to eat is limited while the implant embeds itself into the jawbone.
How MDIs Are Today’s Better Choice
A mini dental implant is much smaller than a regular implant, and it looks and works like a screw in many ways. It’s intended to take the place of a natural tooth or serve as a support for a dental prosthetic. MDIs are usually made of titanium covered in or embedded with calcium phosphate to promote quick healing and lasting results. A ball-shaped implant head fits together firmly with the retaining mechanism, and these two structures hold the denture or replacement tooth in place. Dentures then sit above the gum line comfortably, making pressure easier to bear.
Even if you have extensive bone loss that makes traditional implants impractical, you may be a candidate for MDIs. And up to 4 implants can be placed in one visit.
Specific advantages of mini dental implants include:
• Easier, better speech
• Simpler, more effective biting and chewing
• Easy cleaning
• Better comfort and fit than dentures
• High success rate
• Quick installation
• Permanent results
• Low cost compared to other implants
• No need for surgery
• No need for adhesives
• Less chance for food getting caught
• And more.
And these results are possible from a single visit of about an hour.
How MDI Placement Works
Wondering exactly what happens during an MDI placement appointment? Here are the steps you can expect:
• You receive a mild anesthetic so there’s no discomfort.
• A small hole is drilled into the jawbone at each implant location.
• Each implant is screwed in using a special winged wrench.
• Other tools may then be used for tightening and precision placement.
• Measurements are made to ensure that the placement is exact and matched to the prosthetics.
• The dental prosthetics are drilled with holes to match the MDIs.
• The dentures are placed onto the implants with a rubber o-ring ensuring that the dentures are slightly above the gums for comfort.
In many cases, the dentures are then in place for a lifetime, but they can be removed for adjustments, cleaning and other dental procedures as needed. You probably won’t need any stitches, and you won’t have any pain or discomfort after the procedure. You can resume light eating immediately.
If this is all a bit too much to understand based on a single short article don’t worry. You can find more on our Mini Dental Implants page.
We’ll also explain the procedure in complete detail before the procedure and make sure you’re completely comfortable with everything that’s being done. We want you and all our patients to be at ease with everything we do, and we want you to be fully informed. If you believe MDIs might be right for you, contact us now and let’s take a look at the situation together.