Since the introduction of regular sized (conventional) implants about 50 years ago, dental implants have spawned a multibillion-dollar industry. With more than 200 companies worldwide offering a variety of dental implants and the wide margin of profit it can derive for the companies and the dentists, it is no wonder dental implants and have been widely promoted as a panacea for missing teeth. However, before the introduction of the minidental implants, the number of dentists worldwide offering this service remained approximately slightly above two percent. The drawbacks and failures with conventional implants resulted in its very poor acceptance among dentists, even though conventional implant companies were actively promoting the use of implants.
The process of conventional implants
Since the time it was introduced 50 years ago by Swedish doctor Ivor Branemark, the method to surgically place conventional implants proposed by this doctor has basically remained unchanged. His method was to cut the gums, expose the jawbone, dig out the chunk of bone, place a metal (in this case titanium), stitch it up and hope that the body will accept it.
After a few months, it is opened up again and if it takes (that is if the bone “fuses” with it), only then you can fix artificial teeth or secure loose dentures as an anchor. Unfortunately, the amount of jawbone is often insufficient, most especially among Asians. Hence, methods developed to take bone from other parts of the body to build bone, or lift the floor of the sinus in the upper jaw and then build bone so that the process of “digging” could be undertaken.
Interestingly, about 20 years ago, a dentist in America (who is already an expert dental implantologist) questioned the need for such a traumatic procedure, which resulted in many failures and drawbacks of placing implants.
With its small size and a better method of introduction in the human jaw, a minidental implant is very kind to the patient and is almost painless. It simplified the method of placing implants, and offered excellent results. It is functional and affordable, and allows a healthy set of teeth for the patient to eat well and look really good.
This brought about development and progress of minidental implants. Today, minidental implants have become the fastest growing sector of dental implants in the US and possibly worldwide.
Are minidental implants a better choice?
There is a limited amount of bone in the human jaw – more so, if you have neglected and have missing teeth for many years. The jaw bone will simply shrink.
In most cases, conventional implants are just simply too large for patients. Your dentist or specialist may offer to build up bone from your hip, ribs, or another part of your jaw. It will involve painful surgery and will not ensure success.
As mini implants are smaller in diameter, they can be utilised even in very thin areas of bone in your jaws. Mini implants can often be inserted into minimal bone, and new artificial teeth, usually made out of porcelain, could be fixed over them. These mini implants can also be used to secure loose dentures especially the lower denture.
In the medical field, minimally invasive procedures have made major surgical procedures less traumatic, as well as make way for better and faster healing. Likewise, mini implants are less invasive, promote faster healing, and allow you to keep most of your precious bone. Even conventional implant manufacturers are attempting to shrink their implant diameters so that it can be less invasive. Indeed, mini implants have led the way to a better approach in implant placement.