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Mini Dental Implants

Mini Dental Implants (MDIs) can be used to help in the patient's overall treatment plan.  The most common use for MDIs is the stabilization of dentures and overdentures while a patient is healing from regular Dental Implants.  MDIs anchor the dental prosthesis, which stabilizes ill-fitting, loose dentures while a patient may be waiting for their definitive denture to be made.

MDIs are designed to reduce bone grafting and expedite treatment.  Full implants may require significant bone grafting and longer 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 less recovery period is necessary, and the denture can often 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. The design and structure of MDIs promotes quick healing and long-lasting results.  The head portion of the implant may look 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.

How are mini dental implants placed?

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:

  1. A mild anesthetic is administered.
  2. A small hole is drilled in the jawbone to situate each MDI.
  3. Each implant is screwed into place and tightened with a winged wrench.
  4. Finally, a ratchet wrench is used to fully stabilize the MDIs.
  5. The denture is measured against the mini implants and marks are made to indicate where the MDIs will fit.
  6. 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.


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