Mini Dental Implants
MDIs or Mini Dental Implants have changed how patients and dentists think about implants. While full dental implants require invasive surgery and multiple office visits, MDIs do not require surgery. The availability of today’s MDIs allow dentists to put anchors in the jawbone in a single minimally invasive treatment visit. Most commonly, MDIs are used for stabilizing dentures and overdentures. These small implants hold dental prosthetics in place firmly, eliminating problems with loose, ill-fitting dentures.
These small implants are designed to make bone grafting and the long recovery period this procedure requires unnecessary. Full-sized implants require bone grafting and have a long recovery time while the implant embeds itself into the structure of the jawbone. With MDIs, there is no recovery time required and dentures can usually be fitted the same day.
How Do MDIs Work?
An MDI is a very small implant that is very similar to a screw and designed to take the place of a natural tooth root. In most cases, MDIs are made of titanium that is either sprayed with calcium phosphate or has it embedded along the screw portion. This design and structure promotes rapid healing and results that last. The head of the implant is shaped like a ball and fits firmly together with the retaining mechanism. Working together, these two structures hold the dentures as required. Dentures then sit a comfortable distance above the gum tissue and can withstand significant pressure and other forces.
Are There Advantages To MDIs?
MDIs are real innovations for dental patients who do not like the idea of having highly invasive dental surgery and for those who wear dentures. An important advantage of mini implants over full-sized implants is that they are an appropriate and often effective choice for people who have extensive loss of bone that makes regular implants impractical or impossible.
Depending on how much jaw bone is available at the implant site and its condition, up to four mini implants can be placed in a single appointment. And invasive surgery is not required as it is with full implants. MDIs are also a cost-effective solution. Larger implants cost a lot of money and also require several visits to the dental office. MDIs are most commonly used for denture stabilization, but they can be placed in the mouth anywhere.
Advantages of MDIs also include:
- Better speech
- Greater ease chewing and biting
- Ease of cleaning
- Better fit for dentures
- Significantly less discomfort
- Greater success rate
- Surgery and sutures are not required
- Adhesives and bonding agents are not needed
- Food is less likely to get caught beneath dentures
- Slipping, wobbling and discomfort are eliminates
- Results are permanent
- Installation if quick
- Cost is low
How Are Mini-Implants Inserted?
The entire placement of a mini dental implant can be completed in an hour. For denture stabilization in the lower jaw, four MDIs are generally placed about 5 mm apart. Before insertion, the dentist may use a number of planning and diagnosis tools to decide on the best places to implant them.
Here is an overview of how the MDI placement procedure happens:
A mild anesthetic is given.
- At each MDI location, a small hole is drilled into the jawbone.
- Implants are each screwed into place and a winged ranch is used to tighten them.
- A ratchet wrench is used to full stabilize the mini-implant.
- Measurements are taken to position the MDIs against the dentures and marks are made where holes should be drilled.
- Dentures are sent to a lab where holes are drilled in the precise locations of the MDIs.
After the denture has been modified, it can be affixed to the mini implants. A rubber o-ring on each mini implant snaps into a specific location on each denture and the denture rests very slightly above the gums. The dentures are then held in place comfortably and for a lifetime.
In most cases, stitching is not required and there is no discomfort after the procedure. Light eating can be resumed immediately after denture placement. The denture is removable and can be cleaned as needed.
Patients with questions or concerns about the possibility of having MDIs placed should contact the dentist’s office for an appointment and an assessment of the appropriateness of mini dental implants.
To find out if mini dental implants are the solution for you, call (619) 640-5100 for a free consultation with Dr. Paige Woods, DDS