Benefits of Mini’s….
· Simple, gentle, non-surgical procedure = Less Pain
· Cost Effective~about 1/2 the cost of traditional dental implants
· Immediate results
· Snap-in Upper & Lower Dentures
· Anchors for Dentures or Crowns and Bridges!
· Preserves bone
Why Mini Implants?
The mini dental implant procedure is a much less involved process than conventional dental implants. For this reason, the procedure can usually be completed in one appointment. In addition to saving time in the dental office, you will have far less discomfort (no surgical flaps or sutures).
Mini Dental Implants have a wide variety of uses. I find more and more uses for this as a General Dentist. I think in a matter of time mini implant dentistry will become everyday dentistry. As routine as getting a filling.
Mini Dental Implants in the lower jaw. With 4 mini dental implants in place you can secure a lower denture. Even with a thin ridge most of the time these can be placed without cutting the gum. If the gum is not cut then no blood supply to the bone is disrupted. The bone heals faster around the mini dental implants allowing the patient to function with a implant retained denture immediately.
The upper jaw bone is softer and not as dense as the lower jaw. With 6 mini implants in place you can secure an upper denture. With a good well made denture that covers the hard bone at the very end of the upper arch (maxillary tuberosity) you can remove the middle of the denture. Most patients appreciate the palate of the denture being removed. With this horseshoe shape design patients can taste food better, have better speech, decrease in gagging and less bulk of plastic. With more implants sometimes it is hard for patients to ‘line up’ all the o-balls and housings in the denture. What I would like as a dentist is if someone would make a Zest Locator mini dental implant. The Zest Locator is the ‘gold standard’ in attachments for the traditional or conventional dental implants. It is much smaller in height and guides the patients denture into the retentive rings. The retention rings are also made of nylon so the rings last much longer than the rubber ring used in the o-ball attachment. Right now OCO Biomedical i- mini and i-micro implants, IMTEC MDI, and Intra Lock mini dental implants all use the o-ball with no Zest Locator attachment available.
Zest Locator attachments with metal housings shown in picture. You can see how close to the gum they are. Increase in patient comfort, less vertical and horizontal stress to the implants due to less of a lever arm.
Image of the Zest Locator implant attachment. You can see the ‘flat’ top surface. The male snap that fits on the outside and inside of the Zest Locator acts as a guide for ease of inserting the denture. When you have multiple mini dental implants this would be a welcome advantage.
Mini Dental Implants to retain lower partials.
With just a few mini dental implants you can take a lower partial denture and remove the metal clasp, fit the retention housing in the partial denture and now the patient does not have any visible metal on their teeth. If the partial is well made and has proper stops in the back of the lower jaw (retromolar pad) the partial will not settle and the implants will not get overstressed.
Mini Dental Implants to retain an Upper Partial Denture
Once again even with a few of these minis you can make a case that works. Over time if the patient’s desires change and they want to add more its always possible.
Mini Dental Implants to secure a fixed bridge (Multiple teeth connected together)
In this case multiple teeth were failing and mini dental implants were placed the day of extraction to support a acrylic temporary bridge made in our dental lab. I used some pink acrylic around the front teeth to help hide the extraction sites while they were healing. A final porcelain bridge was made to fit over the mini dental implants once all the gums heal. This case is now been in function for over two years.
Mini Dental Implants to replace a few missing teeth with a crown
Here mini dental implants were placed to support 2 premolar crowns. They are the two teeth in the middle of the picture behind the large canine tooth. The last tooth in the picture is a crown on a natural molar.
This is actually a case that was done last year. My patient came in for his 6 month cleaning about 6 months late…. Not what I like for patients to do. But he was certainly not the ideal patient and I explained that to him prior to committing my time, energy and mini implants to the case. He is a heavy smoker (around 2 packs a day). A big NO NO for traditional dental implants or any kind of implants in general. But I told him if I could get the mini’s in without having to flap his gum away from the bone the implants would have a better chance of healing. He had seen another dentist about traditional or conventional dental implants but could not move forward with treatment due to the cost. A familiar story. I told him we could offer another choice…the mini dental implant choice. Not the same solution but a different solution that might work for him. He had a upper partial to replace his missing 6 front teeth. He had an accident over 10 years ago and had been wearing a cast metal partial that he did not like. His big complaint was the metal hooks and just the bulk of it. He did not really have a complaint on the way his front teeth looked on the partial plate.
6 Mini Dental Implants in place in the upper jaw…day of placement. Note the lack of bleeding. No flap had to be made to insert the mini implants into the gum and bone on the upper.
Upper Partial Denture modified to fit over the 6 mini dental implants that were placed in the upper jaw. This way he would be able to wear the upper partial while the dental lab made his crowns/bridge.
6 crowns with pink porcelain to simulate gum tissue on the stone model from First Impressions Dental Lab
Retracted cheek view of his 6 crowns on six mini dental implants…1 year post placement. Notice all the smoking stain on his lower natural teeth.
Close up view of Crowns
Bite view of the 6 crowns on mini dental implants.
Overall I am happy. I know he is happy. I think his comment was, ‘Doc now that I got my show teeth do I really need to get the rest of them fixed?’ How do you answer that question as a Dentist?
Now if I could just get him to quit smoking, come in when he is required to for his cleanings and move forward with fixing the rest of his teeth….. But as they say, Rome was not built in a day so we move forward one MINI step at a time.
Paresh B Patel dentists Mooresville NC