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The “Great” Mini-Implant

A successful and inexpensive way to stabilize your denture

A Consultation with Dr. Mark B. Snyder

4 mini-implants are recommended to support an overdenture in the lower jaw.

Dear Doctor,
I am a 73 year old woman and I have had trouble with my lower denture for the last several years. I recently heard about mini-implants. What are they and could they be right for me?

Dear Sylvia,
There are millions of Americans wearing dentures and many of them share the same complaints you have. Unfortunately, when your teeth are removed, the shape of the jaw bone changes during healing. And after a denture is made, the pressure of the denture during chewing causes even more bone loss. That is why so many people have to use denture adhesives to keep their “teeth” in place.

The value of dental implants is that they can preserve the remaining bone, prevent more bone deterioration, and secure your dentures. Mini-implants are a derivation in design of the now standard dental implant design. Dental implants are root form replacements, usually made of commercially pure titanium. This metal has a unique ability of fusing to bone, in a process called osseointegration, which after healing is quite successful, predictable and stable.

The latest option for denture patients with your problem is the use of small diameter “mini-implants.” The advantage of this approach is that in a single two hour visit, these implants can be placed and your current denture can be modified so you can eat a steak that night!

The procedure is done using routine novocaine and usually does not require incisions or stitches. If you are taking blood thinners such as Coumadin or Plavix, these may not need to be discontinued before the procedure.

Contact your dentist for an evaluation and his recommendations and he will determine if mini-implants are right for you.