Mini Dental Implants

Mini Dental Implants

Mini dental implants (MDI), also called temporary anchorage device (TAD) are small titanium implants that are used mostly in orthodontic treatments or to replace missing teeth in a patient whose growth is not completed. However, some specialists use the mini implants to replace missing teeth in implant treatments as well.

Due to their small diameter, the mini implants are not considered as conventional dental implants.

Benefits of mini implants

  • Mini implants are very narrow and contain no internal screws used to fix an abutment to support a crown, bridge or denture.
  • No injection and surgery, so dreaded by some patients, are required to install the mini implants. They are installed using an anesthetic gel that is put directly on the gum beforehand. The removal of a mini implant is even simpler because it requires no local anesthesia.
  • They are often installed to attach removable dentures;
  • Speech, chewing and cleaning the fixed prosthesis with the mini implants are easier than with conventional dental implants.
  • They require little or no bone graft, as a smaller volume of alveolar bone can accommodate the tiny screws, which may not be the case with conventional implants.
  • The treatment with mini implants is shorter, as no healing period is necessary before the installation of a crown, bridge or prosthesis on a mini implant.
  • The cost of a treatment with mini implants is considerably lower than with conventional implants.
  • They are often used to replace small teeth, anterior teeth (more visible teeth), teeth located in a tight space or teeth with roots that do not offer enough space for the insertion of a conventional implant.

Steps of mini-implant treatments

The steps leading to the installation of mini implants are much like those of conventional implants.

  • An anesthetic gel (no injection) is applied where the implants will be installed.
  • The surgeon punctures a small hole into the jaw for each mini implant to install.
  • The mini implants are screwed in place and stabilized in the jaw.
  • Measurements are taken in order to modify the dentures that will be attached to the mini implants. These changes are either made in the clinic or in an external laboratory.
  • The modified prosthesis is fixed on the mini implants; adjustments are sometimes necessary to maximize the comfort of the patient.

Use in orthodontics

There are multiple uses for mini implants in orthodontics. The major ones are described below:

  • Mini implants can help to avoid a complex, painful and time-consuming orthodontic treatment, such as those involving orthognathic surgery or teeth replacement.
  • They are used to close a diastema (space) between two teeth after a tooth extraction; the patient doesn’t have therefore to replace the extracted tooth, which represents considerable savings.
  • They can help the eruption of impacted teeth that cannot come into place because of their position.
  • They can preserve the vacant space left by a missing tooth, when a patient has not completed his growth, in order to avoid unwanted teeth shifting.
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