Friday, January 20, 2012

Mini Dental Implants: Advancing Implantology Technology by Meredi Wagner-Hoehn

Most Americans will lose at least one tooth over the course of their lifetime. Implant dentistry allows people with missing teeth to replace those teeth, giving them their original, full grin with comfort and support. Mini dental implants, also called MDI, represent just one of the many bounds in recent years of implant technology development.

The History of Mini Dental Implants

Although they came into existence in the 1970s, MDI’s underwent continued development and enhancement until they were cleared by the Food and Drug Administration in 1999. At that point, they graduated to being called “permanent” implant options.

Since their approval, mini dental implants have continued to ascend in popularity among periodontists, dentists and patients alike. Unlike regular dental implants, which require months of osseointegration (bone healing over the implant) before the crown can even be placed, mini dental implants involve hardly if any recovery time.

MDI’s have particularly assisted in the use of implant-supported dentures. They serve as a denture stabilization system, giving people with dentures more confidence and security. When dentures simply rest against the gums, the bone underneath slowly becomes reabsorbed into the body, essentially disintegrating. First, this means the denture no longer fits, because its seat is constantly reforming. This also means the lips work double-time to keep the denture in its proper position, keeping the patient from having an organic, carefree smile.

The MDI Procedure

The MDI implants consist of mini, 1.8 mm wide titanium screws which replace what previously was the tooth’s root. Your Austin periodontist anesthetizes you initially, then uses a drill to place each MDI necessary into predetermined areas of the mouth. Generally, this involves about six dental implants, but each case varies. No cutting or stitching is necessary, leaving the patient ready to go with their new implants in about one hour. This generally allows the patient to continue with their daily routine as soon as the anesthesia wears off. The implants secure the dentures, rooting them into place so they don’t veer off course.

If you’re missing teeth, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Williamson today. Dr. Mike Williamson, DDS, serves Austin as a periodontist, skilled in various gum tissue procedures including dental implants.