What are they?
The Mini Dental Implant (MDI) is really a revolutionary system of teeth implants that involves small diameter titanium implant screw that acts like the root of your tooth. It comes in different sizes:
- Are quick and easy to insert usually with minimal discomfort
- Will prevent further gum loss
- Allows you to eat foods that you once enjoyed but have avoided
- Will restore your confidence to laugh and smile
- Are a cost effective option ( 50-75% less than conventional Implants )
- Doesn’t require drilling into the teeth on either side
- Often can be completed with a new tooth in one appointment
- When teeth are missing, the bone that previously supported those teeth melts away, or deteriorates. Without dental implants, the eventual impact of this can include collapsed facial profiles, lost lip support, increased wrinkles around the mouth and the appearance of a pointed nose and chin that are too close together. Dental Implants help hold the bone in place that would otherwise be lost.
How are they placed?
The standard insertion protocol for mini dental implants calls for them to be gently screwed through the patients gum. This is a relatively painless procedure that can be performed by a general dentist, requiring only a mild local anesthesia.
Once placed, The Mini Implant can be built up four ways:
- A new Composite Crown tooth is built on top of the protruding Implant straight away ( to replace single teeth )
- Models are taken of the mouth so that a new Porcelain Crown tooth or Bridge can be made in a Laboratory which is fitted two weeks later ( to replace single teeth )
- Models is made of the mouth so that a new Porcelain Bridge can be made in a Laboratory which is fitted two weeks later ( Multiple missing teeth )
- A Denture is fitted with attachments which securely ‘click’ onto the Implants in a solid but removable way
As a revolutionary departure from routine dental implant methods, Mini Dental Implants are so narrow they are typically inserted directly through the overlying gum tissue and into the bone underneath. Consequently there is no need to surgically cut and “flap” open the gum tissue for most Mini Implant systems, routinely required for standard implant systems. As a result, post-insertion patient irritation and soreness is significantly reduced. While all dental implants require care during insertion to avoid encroaching on vulnerable nerve, sinus or bony structures, the ultra small width of the mini implants offers a much more comfortable margin of safety.
Examples of Mini Implants in action:
1. Mini Implants with Porcelain Crowns for single teeth ($6000 for two teeth approx)
2. Four Mini Implants holding in four Composite Crowns with four Composite Veneers – This took two appointments over two days to complete. ($9000 for 4 new teeth and 4 Veneers approx)
3. Mini Implants for a three tooth Porcelain Bridge and single Porcelain Crown ($9000 for Bridge and Crown approx)
4. Mini Implants placed with Composite Crown on top. (1st photo taken 5 mins after placement, 2nd photo 1 hour later) – $3200 ( would be $1900 approx if it was a single tooth with one root therefore one Implant underneath)
5. Mini Implants placed with Composite Crowns on top. (photo taken; before, 5 mins after placement, 3rd photo 90 mins later) – $1900 for single tooth and $3200 for the double tooth with two Implants under it.
6. A single Mini Implant supporting a Composite Crown replacing an upper first premolar. ($1900 – 2nd photo 90 minutes later)
7. Combination Treatment: 5 Composite Veneers, 2 Composite Crowns, 2 Composite Bridges, 2 Mini Implant Supported Composite Crowns and 2 White Fillings. $9500
8. Composite Bridges on Mini Implants – this took 3 days from start to finish.
What about failures?
It must be recognized that all implant systems as well as natural teeth are subject to potential failure due to natural causes, including osteoporosis, poor oral hygiene, wear and tear attrition, poor health, heavy, stressful biting habits, and lack of follow-up dental maintenance care. Mini implants similarly do not carry any actual or implied guarantee of longevity. However, the loss of a mini implant is a far less critical event to the patient since it may be replaced at relatively minimal cost compared to larger conventional implants, and with minimal associated bone or gum deterioration. Case failures involving mini implants are extremely rare. The largest and most up to date Mini Implant study showed 3 year survival rates of 95-99% for fixed teeth and 88-94% for removable Implant supported dentures.
Although the mini Implant is a new development, it has been through rigorous testing and now has medium term studies that give fantastic success rates. The US Food and Drug administration has given consent to market the Mini Dental Implant device not only as a transitional or temporary dental product, but significantly, as a long-term solution for tooth replacement.
What are the Risks?
- In rare circumstances Mini Implants have been known to fail and they will have to be removed through a subsequent procedure. ( usually just unwinding them by hand )
- It is possible that one or more implants may fracture during insertion, or during the implant’s life cycle, and in the event a fracture were to occur, the fractured implant may be removed or left in the jaw if its causing no problem, determined by professional judgment.
- If the patient keeps good oral hygiene and does not return for return for appropriate post-operative care including plaque removal, Implants can fail.
- The use of tobacco, including cigarette smoking as well as excessive alcohol consumption can increase the chance of failure of the dental implants by around 3%.
- Swelling, infection, bleeding and/or pain may be associated with any surgical procedure, including Mini Implants and the said conditions may occur during the life of the implants.
- Temporary or permanent numbness may occur rarely in the tongue, lip(s), chin, or jaws as a result of this procedure as well as the possibility of sinus involvement in the upper jaw. Although cases occurring with Mini Implants are extremely rare