What are Mini Dental Implants?
Mini Dental Implants (MDIs) are titanium screws that replace the root of a tooth. The ball shaped head and collar design can be used for both permanently cemented crowns or bridges as well as securing full or partial dentures. When used for fixed or cemented applications the prosthesis is cemented directly to the head of the implant. If the implant is to be used for a removable denture then a housing with a rubber gasket is attached precisely to the acrylic denture and functions like a button that snaps on and off the implant. the dentist sets snugly against the gums and is retained strictly allowing better chewing function and increased confidence.
How are Mini Dental Implants placed?
MDIs are placed quickly and easily using a microsurgical technique. Your dentist will use a small amount of local anesthetic and make a pin-sized puncture in the gum and jaw. The MDI is then threaded gently and carefully into the jaw. The heads of the implants protrude from the gum tissue and provide an attachment for securing dentures, or cementing crowns or bridges. It is a one step procedure involving minimally invasive surgery.
Is MDI technology a better option than "regular implants?"
Implant therapy has been one of the most significant advances in dentistry in the past 25 years. Tens of thousands of grateful patients testify to the benefits of replacing lost teeth and restoring confidence in their smile. Several different types of implants and restorations are available. The problem is, many of them are expensive and require a long recovery. Your options depend upon the amount of bone available, the patient's general health, and restoration preference. MDIs are minimally invasive and in most cases require only local anesthesia. With an MDI, less bone is necessary, which is a great benefit for patients who have previously been told they would need bone grafts to receive any implants. Another benefit is for patients who are medically compromised and have previously been told they can not get implants.
Why so small?
The computer and medical worlds are both striving to develop smaller and smaller components. In similar fashion, The MDI represents a smaller version of the implant. Smaller means less invasive which makes the procedure and recovery easier on you. This microsurgical approach allows Mini Implant Solutions for more patients and presents a new option for many previously denied treatment with older conventional-style implants.
Are Mini Implants more expensive?
Typically, Mini Implants are more affordable — usually half the price of conventional implant treatment. This affordability enables people to expand their treatment options, allowing some to realize their dream of fixed bridgework instead of removable dentures. Because Mini Dental Implants require less bone, this option eliminates the need for expensive, time-consuming bone graft procedures.
Who invented them?
Although many dentists and engineers participated in the development of MDIs, a few stand out individuals propelled them to their current popularity. The titanium alloy was developed about twenty years ago and was recognized as being a useful material for a variety of medical and dental implanted devices. Dr. Victor Sendax and The Imtec Corporation, now a 3M Company, developed the Mini Dental Implant System and the important placement protocol. Many other scholars deserve credit for promoting the use of this great product and service by their lectures and research. Thousand of patients have them to thank for their newfound confidence and ability to chew and eat any foods they want.
How widely accepted are Mini Dental Implants?
A great deal of time, research and study has gone into the development of Mini Dental Implants. It is safe, biocompatible, FDA approved and provides an improved method of tooth replacement. After 40 years of study the technique is now used by thousands of dentists in many different countries and is recommended by some of the top implant dentists in the world. Because of the important service that minis provide to patients, research is ongoing and scientific journals continue to release new studies about the small diameter implants.
MDIs have become a real asset to both dentists and patients. MDIs are fast, easy and affordable. They can be used in a minimally invasive manner which helps patients with medical conditions who would otherwise not be a candidate for dental implant treatment. Also, MDIs allow patients to chose not to have bone graft procedures and still get a dental implant solution. So call your local dentist and ask if they can give you minis!