If you wear dentures, you know how uncomfortable and embarrassing it can be when they slip or become loose. Mini dental implants are designed to firmly anchor dentures, and unlike full implants, they can be used even in patients with significant bone loss.
Mini dental implants, or MDIs, can be thought of as a kind of root replacement device. Made of titanium, MDIs are screwed into holes that are drilled into the jaw, leaving a ball-shaped head exposed. Smaller than standard implants, MDIs are designed to be implanted in a single treatment without the need for surgery, and unlike standard dental implants that require a recovery period before the denture can be fitted, MDIs allow the denture to be fitted the same day. Although mini dental implants are usually used for patients with dentures, in some cases, these implants also may be used to firmly hold crowns and bridges in place.
Before your procedure begins, your dentist will determine the best placement for your implant. At the beginning of the procedure, a mild anesthetic will be used to numb the area. Next, a small hole will be drilled into the jaw for each MDI and implants will be inserted and screwed tightly into place. Most lower denture procedures require four implants spaced about 5 mm apart. Once in place, your dentist will mark your denture to show where the implants touch the denture’s surface. Then a dental lab will drill holes in your dentures to allow them to fit over the implant’s head. The entire procedure takes about an hour.
Ill-fitting, loose and uncomfortable dentures can affect the way you speak and eat, and knowing your denture can come loose at any moment can seriously impair your confidence and self-esteem. Mini implants can eliminate those problems and leave you with a confident, healthy-looking smile you’ll be proud of.