A Mini Dental Implant (MDI) is a miniature titanium implant that acts like the root of your tooth and has a connector that is placed into the base of your denture. The head of the implant is shaped like a ball and the connector acts like a socket that contains a rubber O-ring. The O-ring snaps over the ball when the denture is seated and holds the denture tightly and securely in place. When seated, the denture gently rests on the gum tissue. The implant fixtures allow for functional mobility while withstanding the tendency for your denture to lift.
This innovative system and procedure was formally introduced to the United States dental community at an implant conference in Orlando, Florida in April, 1999. It was an instant success and now represents one of the fastest growing segments of the dental product industry.
Yes. After providing satisfactory technical and clinical evidence to the FDA that the product was safe for public use and in fact had beneficial attributes, the FDA granted its formal consent to market the Mini Dental Implant device not only as a transitional or temporary dental product, but significantly, as a long-term solution. (IMTEC was the first company to receive long-term approval of its MDI implants from the FDA, and for several years, was the only company to have that distinction.)
When critically needed for support purposes, and where solid bony adaptation (integration) has clearly occurred, mini implants can function as long-term supporting structures rather than as short-term or medium term devices. In fact, some have been successfully functioning in patients' jaws for several decades. In the past several years, some clinicians have been utilizing MDI's for single tooth replacements and for supporting crown and bridge cases.
The most effective use of this unique dental product is stabilization of a lower denture. There are approximately 50,000,000 people in the United States who are "edentulous" (literally meaning lacking teeth) who struggle daily with dentures. A majority suffers a great deal of discomfort as a result of loose or ill-fitting dentures and from the thick layers of the denture glues they have to use. Many denture wearers simply withdraw from any type of social engagement as a result of being compelled to wear them. Moreover, it's not uncommon for family members to complain about a denture wearer's disagreeable breath as a result of food being trapped and decaying under their dentures. Successful placement of Mini Dental Implants addresses and solves all of these social and practical problems. Denture patients all over the world have experienced relief from loose or ill-fitting dentures and from disgusting layers of denture adhesive by getting mini dental implants. Uniquely, the MDI can stabilize a denture in a couple of hours by a trained doctor, with the patient leaving the dentist's office with a tight, secure denture.
The standard insertion protocol for mini dental implants calls for four of them to be gently screwed into the front of a patient's lower jaw. This is a relatively painless procedure that can be performed by a general dentist, requiring only a mild anesthesia. The mini dental implants, which are approximately the size of wooden toothpicks, are placed about five millimeters apart in the patient's lower jaw. The patient's denture is then carefully adjusted by the dentist to allow it to snap onto the four mini implants. The result is a tight fitting, completely reliable system that allows a patient to speak and eat with confidence. The Mini Dental Implants are placed in about an hour's time. Because of the unique, minimally invasive procedure, the minute size of the implants, and the characteristic placement area, the typical Mini Dental Implant patient can enjoy a light meal an hour or so after having the mini implants placed. Furthermore, a denture patient who has had his or her prosthesis stabilized with MDI can remove and replace the denture easily after a little practice, and can easily utilize good dental hygiene. All in all, the MDI is quite satisfying.
It's true that what the dental profession calls biting forces create dynamic pressures on the human jaw. Our jaws are marvelously designed to adequately withstand those forces. It's also true that mankind has been struggling for centuries to come up with some type of metal or metallic element that can efficiently withstand those forces. Most have been outright failures. However, approximately twenty-five years ago some doctors around the world began experimenting with titanium as a potential dental medium. Titanium is an extremely strong metal used in the construction of aircraft and aircraft engines. The metal, in its commercial form, is incredibly strong and durable. The IMTEC Mini Dental Implants takes that metallurgical concept to the next level by adapting an industry approved alloy of titanium. The result is the strongest metal on earth, now commonly referred to as titanium alloy. In fact, extensive tests conducted several years ago by the University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Orthopedics revealed that the particular titanium alloy implants used in the IMTEC Mini Dental Implants are 64% stronger than ones constructed of commercially pure titanium. The bottom line of this discussion area is simple: If a denture patient has sufficient bone mass to create a rock hard placement of the tiny implant, which an experienced dentist can usually determine by an initial examination, the mini dental implants will generally withstand normal chewing forces just like natural teeth. Fractures are extremely rare, but as the case with a person's normal teeth, can certainly occur.
IMTEC Corporation manufactures and sells the Mini Dental Implants in four lengths, l0, l3, l5 and l8 millimeters. One trained in dental science will recognize instantly that these lengths appropriately anticipate the type of depths that are needed in a wide variety of prospective Mini Dental Implant patients. The company also manufactures what it calls the Mini Dental Implant MAX that's sold in l0, l3 & l5 millimeters.