Orlando Denture Doctor

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Dr. Mark Williams

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Mini Dental Implants

Will they help my loose dentures?

Dr. Williams answers your questions

Why should I get Implants?

Implants provide a substantial increase in the stability and function of your denture improving your quality of life. Your chewing function is immediately and dramatically improved. They will help secure your denture without the trouble and expense of adhesives. They also will help you keep bone; avoiding future problems with denture fit as your bone level shrinks. Under upper dentures, implants can often do away with the plastic in the roof of your mouth.

What are the advantages of Mini Implants over Conventional Implants?

Cost. Mini Implants are about half the cost of conventional implants.

Because there is minimal bone removal, there is significantly less surgical trauma with mini implants. The surgery is less invasive than the traditional larger implants and there is no grafting of the gum that is sometimes necessary with conventional implants. In most cases no incision is necessary.

Mini Implants are less time consuming. Since conventional implants are much larger, they can require months of healing before they can be used to stabilize a denture. With mini implants you get immediate denture stability; your dentures are stabilized the day mini implants are placed.

How do Mini Implants work?

A miniature titanium alloy implant is placed in the jawbone and acts like the root of your tooth. The head of the implant protrudes from your gum and it is shaped like a ball. Your denture is secured to each implant ball by the use of tiny rubber gaskets placed inside your denture that snap over the balls to hold the denture firmly in place.

How long will they last?

Dentists have been placing mini implants for over 10 years and research has found a patient success rate of 98% on the lower implants. The more bone you have, the greater the chance of success. There are occasional failures of individual implants but it is extremely rare for all four implants to go bad. In the rare case of a failure, the mini implant is merely unscrewed and the area heals within a few weeks. Because the bone is different, the success rate with upper implants drops to 90%.

Who makes the implants you use?

The 3M Company. One of the most respected and trusted companies in the healthcare industry.

Have they been researched and studied?

They have been cleared by the FDA and supported in the research literature. There are numerous research projects supporting the use of mini implants for lower dentures. If you are interested, visit the Web site, www.pubmed.com, and read these research reports. Dr. Gordon Christensen, probably the most respected clinical researcher in dentistry says: “I have had significant clinical success with these small-diameter implants. If these implants are placed adequately and the denture is fabricated adequately, there are no reasons to question the use of them”

Why four implants?

Four implants make your denture more stable, helps prevent it from rocking and prevents your tongue from lifting it upward.

The surface area of 4 mini implants is the same as the surface area of 2 conventional implants. In the rare instance of a failure of one mini implant then there are still three to help secure your denture.

Can this affect the “feel” of my dentures?

In a few situations there may be a slightly raised area just in front of your tongue. This is to accommodate the implants and assure maximum stability and longevity. If this should happen you will find that your tongue will get used to it quite soon.

What will my first day be like?

Leave the denture in place for the first 24 hours. You will not experience any excessive bleeding. There will be some discomfort but taking 2 Advil is generally all that is necessary. You may eat as soon as you wish, but hard food may be a little uncomfortable for a few days.

How do I place and remove my dentures?

Before seating the denture use a toothbrush to remove any debris inside the denture and around the implants. Make sure you have the denture lined up correctly over the implants then use both hands with a light touch to press down equally on both sides. You will feel the denture snap into place.

To remove the denture, place your thumbs under each side and push both sides up at the same time.

Unequal pressure during seating and removing will cause premature wearing of the o-rings.

How do I care for my implants? You must clean the balls of the implants as if they were your natural teeth. If not removed, the plaque buildup will cause inflammation of the gums. The O-ring fixtures must also be cleaned to prevent loss of retention. An ultrasonic cleaner with a 50-50 peroxide solution is helpful for keeping the denture clean. Do not use effervescent cleansers, as these may deteriorate O-rings Will I ever have to return to your office for “maintenance”? Your denture is secured to each implant by the use of tiny rubber gaskets placed inside your denture. Over time, from taking your denture in and out, these will wear and you will begin to feel your denture move up off the gum. When this occurs you will need to return to our office and have new O-rings placed in your denture. There will be a charge to replace your O-rings.