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3M ESPE Dental News

Effectiveness of Mini Dental Implants

01 December 2011

Rob Dunn discusses the effectiveness of Mini Dental Implants

Rob Dunn qualified in 1967 from Manchester with a Bachelor Dental Surgery and was awarded a Diploma in General Dental Practice by the Royal College of Surgeons in London in 1992. He is also a member of the International Team for Implantology.

His interest in dental implants began in 1971 under Professor Obwegeser at the University of Zurich, when Dr Leonard Linkow presented his titanium fixtures for the replacement of missing teeth.

Placing his first implant in 1972, Rob has continued these treatments to the present day with constant modification and up-dating of ideas and systems. In the last six years he has introduced the use of Sendax Mini-Implant from 3M ESPE and has been presenting seminars on behalf of the company throughout the UK. Here he speaks to Guy Hiscott from Dentistry Magazine where he discusses the benefits of mini dental implants

What are the benefits of mini dental implants?
MDIs have dual benefits for dentists and patients. They’re very effective, particularly in relation to denture stabilisation, where patients have had very loose dentures for a long time. Mini dental implants can stabilise those dentures and give the patient an improved quality of life.
From the patient’s point of view, they’re a more cost effective option than conventional implants. Quite often, with primary stability, we can immediately load them, so that patients can come along with a denture that doesn’t fit, and walk out of the surgery with one that’s completely stabilised within an hour.

Do mini dental implants have different indications compared to conventional implants?
MDIs can be useful when conventional implants can’t be used, particularly where the available bone is much narrower than a conventional implant requires.
A conventional implant requires at least 5mm of bone, both in width and mesio-distal length. Mini dental implants can be in ridges with as little as 3mm or even completely flat ridges for stabilising dentures. They also get around the need for bone augmentation that you sometimes have with conventional implants. You don’t need to do that with MDIs, because they don’t require as much bone. That links nicely into the cost element of it as well, of course.

Does the technique for placing mini dental implants differ from conventional ones?
In the vast majority of cases, the surgical technique is flapless – you don’t need to raise the flap. The little pilot hole that’s created to place the implant is just placed straight through the soft tissue.
There’s no need for the large osteotomy that you sometimes need to produce for a conventional implant

So on the whole; it’s a more accessible technique than conventional implants?
Yes, it’s much simpler. One of the advantages we’ll be highlighting to dentists in the lecture is that for those people who don’t place implants, this may be a good introductory technique for them, or even just a simple technique for them to use while they continue to refer conventional implants.

Is that an argument you demonstrate to people who are sceptical about using mini dental implants?
Oh yes. In the lectures we will highlight the fact that there is now a World Health Organization recommendation that all full lower dentures should be implant supported.
The vast majority of dentists cannot place dental implants, and the answer for them may well be the mini dental implant. Once you’ve tried them, and seen the benefits that patients derive from the technique, I think you’ll probably want to try them for yourself.