The benefits of minis
More and more dentists and specialist are discovering the effectiveness of minidental implants, as compared to larger conventional implants. Larger implants require invasive procedures, which may result in several drawbacks and failures, whereas minis are kinder and employ a minimally invasive procedure.
History behind dental implants
Interestingly, it was general dentists who pioneered the use of dental implants, about 45 years ago. Dental specialists during that time opposed its use, and dissuaded patients from having dental implants. They even went to the extent of removing seemingly successful implants from patient’s mouths because they believed implants would not work.
It took approximately another 10 years for dental specialists to realise that implants were a viable form of treatment. They even claimed that the insertion of dental implants was their area of expertise, which was ironic, because they are the very ones who condemned dental implants at the beginning.
Today, history is repeating itself. Most dental specialist who utilise conventional implants assert that minidental implants do not work. Reality is, a fundamental factor for any implant factor in any implant to succeed is its integration to the jaw bone. The human body won’t distinguish whether an implant is a larger diameter implant or a mini. As long as the other factors that facilitate integration are present, the implant will integrate, so there’s no reason to believe that the body will reject mini dental implants.
The first mini implants placed in by a New York dentist Dr Victor Sendax, who incidentally started as an expert conventional implant practitioner was done about 30 years ago. From then on, an incredible number of minis were successfully placed into human jaws. Even the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with their stringent protocol, has approved mini implants (by brand) for long-term use in the mouth. Imtec was the first to gain such an endorsement.
Conventional vs Minis
The amount and quality of bone surrounding the implants are important for a dental implant to be successful. When there is little bone, it imposes severe limitation to conventional implants because they are larger in diameter and require more surrounding bone for the implant to be successful.
As Asians tend to have a smaller body framework, this often leads to insufficient bone and eventually failure. To overcome this limitation, bone may be taken from other parts of the body, which will then be surgically placed in the jaw. A waiting period will be needed for the bones to “fuse” together. When this procedure is successful, another surgery will be performed before conventional implants are placed in. this would mean two elaborate procedures for conventional implants, which may not be for everybody.
Here’s where mini implants will be extremely useful, as they are less traumatic and less invasive. My colleagues and I have successfully placed several thousands of mini implants, especially for fixed crowns and bridges. Minis are slender enough for the crowns and bridges to look natural. Hence, you obtain not only strong crowns and dental bridges, but attractive ones as well. Patients love minis because of the easier method and he benefits they offer, which also include securing very loose dentures.
The availability od minis gives the patient more choices. And as minis thrive in the industry, it may very well drive down the cost of having implants – both minis and conventional ones.