Mini Dental Implants

When you lose teeth, your oral health isnít the only area to deteriorate. Often, you must change your diet. Many people feel embarrassed by their appearance, so they restrict social interactions. Dentures can replace missing teeth, but these can become loose and uncomfortable to wear. With mini dental implants, you can achieve a denture that can be held firmly in place.

What are mini dental implants?
About the width of a toothpick, a mini dental implant is a small, titanium screw that a skilled practitioner places in your jawbone. The mini dental implant acts like an artificial tooth root, replacing the tooth you have lost.

To secure the denture, a retaining fixture with an O-ring is inserted into the base of the appliance. Because the mini dental implant has a head shaped like a ball, the prosthetic snaps into place with the O-ring fitting over the ball and stabilizing the denture. The prosthetic will rest gently on the gums and allow for micro-mobility as well as withstand natural lifting forces.

How did mini dental implants originate?
More than 20 years ago, Dr. Victor Sendax designed this product as a transitional support for fixed bridge replacements of lost teeth. Dr. Sendax also believed that mini dental implants could work by themselves or in combination with natural tooth supports and/or traditional dental implants.

In l997, Dr. Sendax shared his ideas about mini dental implants with a colleague, Dr. Ronald A. Bulard, who had previously formed a dental implant company. This company, IMTEC Corporation, was manufacturing and marketing regular sized dental implants, abutments, and other dental products at the time. Convinced that they had made an important discovery, the two implantologists spent numerous hours revising Dr. Sendax's original creative design, which generated a more efficient top and collar for the mini dental implants. Combining the re-designed mini implant with Dr. Sendax's original insertion procedure resulted in a successful innovation.

When are mini dental implants utilized?
Mini dental implants can offer long-term solutions. Once the bone fuses with the implant, a process known as osseointegration, the mini dental implant can function in a patientís jaw for several decades.

Whatís the primary, most effective use of mini dental implants?
Mini dental implants primarily function as a stabilization devise for a lower denture. Approximately 50,000,000 people in the United States have lost their teeth and now struggle with loose or ill-fitting dentures that cause discomfort. Many denture wearers withdraw socially because they feel embarrassed by their situation. After placement of mini dental implants, these social and physical problems disappear so that patients can regain the independence they crave. For many cases, a trained doctor can place the mini dental implants in just a few hours, allowing the patient to leave with a stabilized denture.

How do mini dental implants work?
Your doctor will screw four mini-implants into the front of the lower jaw. A relatively painless process, the procedure can be completed under local anesthetic.  The implants are placed about five millimeters apart, and the denture is modified so that it will snap onto the mini-implants. In about an hour, you can enjoy a tight fitting, completely reliable system. Because of the minimally invasive process, many mini dental implant patients can partake in a light meal only hours after placement.

Can mini dental implants really sustain the tremendous forces exerted during the chewing process?
The natural design of the jaw enables it to withstand those extreme forces. For centuries, human beings have tried to create a substitute that could also sustain the pressure. About 25 years ago, certain doctors began looking at titanium, a durable metal used in the construction of aircraft and aircraft engines. With the Sendax Mini Dental Implants, this metallurgical concept has moved development to the next level with an industry approved alloy of titanium, resulting in the strongest metal on earth, commonly referred to as titanium alloy. Several years ago, Dr. Sendax encouraged the University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Orthopedics to test the materials, and the results revealed that the IMTEC Sendax Mini Dental Implants, constructed from titanium alloy, are 64 percent stronger than ones generated from commercially pure titanium.

I was told that my jawbone isnít dense. Am I still a candidate for mini dental implants?
After working with typical mini dental implants, researcher Dr. Bulard anticipated this type of need, so he took steps to expand IMTEC Corporation's original production offering to provide a MAX Mini Dental Implant. Fitting the same dimensions as the standard mini implant, the MAX implant has a different thread design, which allows placement and stability in softer bone. Patients who lack bone density should talk with their doctors about the MAX implant.

Is failure a big concern with mini dental implants?
Natural teeth and other implants are subject to potential failure because of issues such as poor oral hygiene, wear and tear, poor health, heavy or stressful biting habits, and lack of maintenance care. Similarly, mini implants donít have any actual or implied guarantee. With mini dental implants, however, patients can replace a damaged post with a relatively small cost compared to conventional implants, and with minimal trauma to the surrounding tissue.

How do mini dental implants differ from traditional implants?
Mini dental implants provide a complete departure from routine dental implants. Because of their narrow design, the doctor will typically insert the tiny posts directly through the overlying gum tissue and into the bone underneath. In most mini dental implant cases, the doctor can avoid the need to surgically cut and "flap" open the gum tissue, which is a requirement for standard implant systems. Mini dental implant patients generally experience less soreness and irritation. All dental implants require special care during insertion to prevent trauma to any vulnerable nerve, sinus, or bony structure, but the ultra small width of the mini implants allows for a more reasonable safety margin.

What is the recovery process like with mini dental implants?
The following tips will help patients with their new mini dental implant system:

ē The prosthetic should feel secure.
  • Leave the denture in place until bedtime.
  • You may feel some mild discomfort, which should be well controlled by the recommended pain medication. You may experience mild to moderate bleeding.
  • As soon as you feel comfortable, eat a meal, but avoid hard or sticky foods initially.
  • After removing the denture, rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash; then, gently clean around each implant post with a cotton swab and toothpaste. Use the cotton swab method for three days.
  • When three days have past, switch to the ACCESS toothbrush. This toothbrush was created to clean your implants and softly stimulate the surrounding gum tissue.
    • How do I place and remove my denture?
      To begin, make sure the mini dental implants and O-ring fixture are clean and free of debris. Grasp the denture with both hands and lightly seat the denture so that the O-rings rest above the ball head of the implants. Press down firmly and equally on both sides. You should feel the implant heads easily fitting each O-ring and the denture clasp into place.

      If you have problems placing the denture, double-check that the implants and your prosthetic have been thoroughly cleaned. Next, make sure that you apply equal pressure on both sides. You may want to ask someone for help if you still have trouble. To take out the denture, place the thumbs under each side of the denture rim and push both sides upward simultaneously.

      How do I care for and maintain my mini dental implants after placement?
      As with any dental appliance, patients often experience a short adjustment period as they become comfortable placing and removing the denture. When you wake up, remove the lower denture, brush the gums and implant area with an ACCESS curved bristle toothbrush, rinse your mouth, rinse the denture itself, and then replace the prosthesis.

      Treat the balls of the implants as you would your natural teeth, brushing and flossing regularly. Remove food and bacterial debris or inflammation of the gums will occur. In addition, clean out the O-ring fixture to dislodge any food that has gotten caught inside the post to avoid improper seating and retention loss.

      During the day, feel free to continue your regular routine. In the evening, remove the denture again, use the ACCESS brush, and thoroughly rinse your mouth. Keeping a diligent care regiment will result in a fully functioning dental appliance.

      Mini Dental Implants


      Kevin B. Sands DDS
      414 Camden Drive
      Suite 940
      Beverly Hills, CA 90210

      P. (310) 273-0111
      F. (310) 271-0584