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Dental Implants, Know more about it

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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.

Minidental implants

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.

Teeth Implants

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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.

A closer look at dental implants

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What you should at least know before deciding on dental implant procedures

Dental implants: What you should know

Imtec® minidental implants were developed by a conventional implant expert more than 20 years ago in America in response to the drawbacks and failures of larger conventional implants. More dentists and specialist utilising minidental implants as a viable and better option.

Minis placed more than 20 years ago are still functioning well in patients’ mouth.

Imtec® minis have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a long-term use in the mouth for stabilising loose dentures and for fixed crowns and bridges. FDA is very stringent in its criteria and other regulatory authorities worldwide usually accepts FDA’s endorsement as a reliable benchmark.

A  survey by a leading independent USA research group on dental products and services reports – “Minis are moving fast into mainstream practice. Whether they will replace conventional implants is yet to be determined but there is a great possibility based on the findings of the survey”.

Some relevant consideration

Whether your implants are minis or conventional, you need to take special care in oral hygiene. Aesthetic is easily accomplished with minis because they are narrow and will allow dental laboratory to easily fabricate natural looking crowns and bridges.

You may recover your youthful smile, vitality sooner and eat well with minis.

Frequently asked questions from patients:

Q: Are minidental implants only for temporary use in the human jaw?

A: This is a misconception even amongst some dentists and dental specialists who are not aware about the latest happenings in the field of dental implants. They think that minis are only for temporary use.

Both minis are conventional are not generic products. Whether the implants are conventional or minis depend on the product brand. This is the reason why FDA gives approval to specific brands. It is important that you are aware of this misconception.

Imtec® minis from America are the most popular brand for long term use.

Q: My mother has no teeth and very loose dentures. She suffers from diabetes and is 90 years old. Is she a suitable candidate for implants?

A: probably not for conventional implants – insertion of conventional are usually traumatising and not kind to patients, especially the elderly. With the use of minis, your dentist or specialist will not need to inflict any severe trauma by “digging” bone as minis utilise a less invasive procedure. These minis will be able to secure loose dentures or even allow your dentist to place full mouth fixed teeth with little discomfort.

With minis, your mother can look good and chew her food easily.

Q: will there be any problem of hygiene and cleaning of the crowns and bridges?

A: Whether conventional or minis, you will be taught by your dentist or specialist how to maintain oral hygiene. Oral irrigation helps in the cleaning processfor both minis and conventional.

Q: Are there any advantages in placing conventional implants instead of minis?

A: We’ve given up on recommending or placing conventional implants in almost all instances. In fact there are more advantages in placing minis- it is less painful (almost painless) and not traumatic like the conventional implants. Minis are also easily accomplished and well accepted by patients.

A survey in US has predicted that minis will eventually replace conventional implants as the method of choice.

If your dentist or specialist says that “minis” don’t work – you should consult a dentist or specialist who will give you the correct information about minis and conventional implants.

Minis can be placed in any position where you can place conventional implants. Minis can also be placed in areas of the jaws where conventional implants cannot be introduced without building bone first.

Q: Which is a better choice when it comes to affordability, minis or conventional implants?

A: Minis are more affordable compared to conventional implants. See us for a free consultation and decide for yourself.

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