What are Mini Dental Implants (MDI)

Mini Dental Implants

Mini dental implants (MDI) are one of the major developments in the technology of implant dentistry. Market researches show that mini dental implants are becoming increasingly popular every day. Many implant dentists offer mini dental implants as an option to their patients, whenever the case requirements permit their use.

What are Mini Dental Implants?

Mini dental implants were first introduced in the mid 1980's but they became accepted by FDA as long term implant devices in 1999 and found immediate success within the dental community. Today they represent one of the fastest growing segments of the dental product industry.

A mini dental implant (MDI) is actually a narrower type of implant with a diameter of about 1.8-2.9 mm instead of 4.0-5.5mm.

Other main differences between mini and conventional dental implants are:

  • These small diameter implants are made from the same materials (titanium alloy) but they are solid and not hollow as the conventional implants.
  • Mini dental implants are made in one piece while a conventional implant consists of two parts, the actual implant and the abutment.
  • Unlike standard implants that are placed under the gums, MDIs protrude over the gum surface when they are placed into the bone.
  • The mini dental implant procedure is a single stage process as compared with the 2-stages process for conventional dental implants.

How Mini Dental Implants work?

The mini dental implant consists of a 1 piece titanium screw with a ball shaped head on top of it instead of the classic abutment. The dental mini implants ball shaped head "snap" into socket-like connectors into the base of the denture which rests gently on the gum tissue.

The denture stabilization is achieved using a rubber o-ring inside the socket connector, providing adequate retaining force to hold the dentures in place while eating or talking. The connection can be forced open by applying a bit more force, enabling the removal of the dentures. Patients can put in place and remove their mini implants' retained denture easily after a little practice.

Unlike standard implants, mini implants allow immediate loading without waiting months for the osseointegration to be completed. After the surgery for the placement of the mini dental implants, the patient can walk out of the dental office with a lower denture which is not only solidly stable, but can be used to eat immediately.

Where Mini Dental Implants are used?

Mini dental implants were initially designed to be used only as denture implants for lower jaw denture stabilization. Like conventional dental implants, MDI dental implants are placed into the jaw bone with oral surgery and act as a retaining fixture to hold the denture in place.

Thanks to the high success rates and the ease of their placement procedure many implant dentists have expanded the use of mini dental implants. Many implant dentists place MDIs instead of standard implants for the replacement of small teeth such as incisors where the forces on the implants are not too big. Due to their smaller dimensions they also are used in cases where the space for implantation is too narrow for a conventional dental implant.

The greatest advantage of mini dental implants is that they need only one surgery and they can be placed and loaded immediately. For this reason many professionals refer to them as single-day implants.

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Last update: 01/01/2017