Nice to see you on this page ! Along the article I will describe you how mini dental implants can be the solution to replace missing teeth or to stabilize your denture and improve your life. I think that if you are here is because you have some discomforts with your denture.
I will say something obvious: full dentures are better than no teeth at all.
That’s a fact.
If you got your new dental prosthesis why do you are not happy ? Simply because the new teeth do not work like naturals did.
The day after receiving prosthesis is wonderful. You feel like re-born. You can eat, talk and smile again.
After a while, your gums and bones change and your denture doesn’t fit any more. New problems occur and your self-esteem goes down day by day.
The reason why you do not feel like the first day denture it’s because it starts to move around your mouth (loose denture).
The movements of your new teeth cause you to feel pain in some spots on your gingiva. This is only the beginning.
The next issues will be: gum irritation, daily inflammation and bleeding.
How to solve these issues ? There are a few options I’m going to describe in the next paragraphs
See your dentist as soon as possible. Maybe your dentures need adjustments or replaced.
Using denture adhesive to keep it in place and feel more comfortable. Denture adhesive fill the gap in between the prosthesis pink plastic part and your gingiva.
If the adhesive you need is too much, your dental technician has to reline the denture.
Still problems ? Ok, don’t worry. I have the third solution. It will solve your issues once and forever.
Mini dental implants keep dentures in place. I know, it sounds like a painful and expensive option but it’s not.
In order to explain you how they work, I’ll write here words said by Dr. Samuel Shatkin Sr, DDS, MD. “…For stabilizing dentures four mini implants are inserted in the front of the patent’s lower jaw. It requires local anesthesia. The dentist adjusts the denture to snap on to the implants and secure it. Denture wearers also can remove the prosthesis for cleaning and snap it back in place..”
Does it sounds difficult ? Let’s go step by step.
First of all, why are they “mini” ? Because they are more thin than traditional dental implant. Their thickness is from 1.8 mm to 3 mm. MDI Mini Dental Implants by 3M ESPE (PDF file) are a good example of mini implant system. They were the first approved by FDA in 1997 for the long-term use of denture stabilization.
The head of the implant is shaped like a ball. The retaining fixture acts like a socket with a rubber O-ring. The O-ring snaps over the ball when the prosthesis is seated and holds the denture firmly in place. Isn’t a good news already ?
Why mini instead of traditional implants ?
I have three reasons for you. Easy to insert. Ready in no time. Affordable.
Easy to insert even if do not have enough bone for regular implants
If you become without teeth since short time, this is not your problem. Instead, if you are long-time denture wearer maybe you don’t have enough bone to insert standard dental implants. The bone in your mouth reabsorbed and cannot hold normal size implants. For normal restoration patients need bone graft before to receive implants.
Don’t worry ! Mini dental implants can be placed even in mouths with poor bone due to their narrow sizes.
Immediately ready to work
Normal implant placement is very invasive. The healing time is long. Because the procedure is so hard to support, aged patient not in optimal health, are not the best candidates. The risk of implant failure is high.
Mini implants do not have this issues. It easy to insert them. Your dentist can place 4 MDIs in your jaw and stabilize the denture in one appointment.
Senior and retired patients can relax. Because they take less time to place and are less invasive mini implants cost is less than implants and work perfect to stabilize the denture. It is not all. If the dentist can adjust your denture to work with new mini implants, you can save you even more money.
I know, It sounds too good to be true. Let’s continue.
Now the procedure
How to get mini dental implants ? Now I will describe you the procedure. It is much more easy to do that than explain it.
Placement of the mini implants takes about 2-hour appointment in your dentist’s office.
Anesthesia: Minis require local anesthesia in the spot where the dentist has to insert them.
While gums are sleeping, your dental specialist creates small holes through the soft tissue and bone.
Once the holes are done, it’s time to place mini dental implants. The dentist will screw them manually first and then with the help of hand tools.
The dental technician will modify your denture adding 4 metal housings.
A rubber o-ring will go in between each housing and the head of each mini implant.
In the last step the dentist has to be sure the dental device fits over the implants without creating you occlusion problems.
Ok, now your denture is stabilized.
Here I will list a few advices you can follow to keep your new mini implants clean.
No teeth no cleaning ? Wrong !
Each time you eat, little pieces of food remain in your mouth. If not removed, they become plaque. Plaque causes gums inflammation and goes into the o-ring hole.
The result is gums pain and bleeding. It is not all. Your denture doesn’t fit on implants properly.
After each meal, the patient has to remove the denture and clean it with toothbrush and toothpaste. Even the heads of the MDIs needs care.
Mouthwash helps you to disinfect your mouth. This is the home dental care but it is not enough.
Patients should return to the dental office for checkups every six months. The o-rings wear out over time, and you need to change them once a year.
Mini implants cost
The cost range of each MDI is from $400 to $1200. It depend on the type and the brand of the mini itself
The total price to stabilize your denture with 4 mini implants is about $1600 min or $4800 max.
Here I listed the price for 4 mini implants. Your dentist will tell you exactly how many minis you need.
Sometimes 2 mini implants can be enough while other patients need 6 of them.