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Dental implants: Mini-implants

The mini-dental implant uses screws made of a bio-compatible titanium alloy of smaller diameter than that of standard implants ( 1.8 mm or less).

When are mini-dental implants employed?

One of the most typical uses of mini-implants consists in dentures stabilisation (complete removable prosthesis) be it either the upper or lower set, that often make life difficult for someone who has lost all their teeth and wrongly believes in no available alternative; in this case, the mini-dental implants practically resolve every removable prosthesis-linked problem, making it stable and well-fixed but simple to remove for every daily hygienic operation. The mini-dental implants constitute a long lasting support structure, and they are employed by dentists also for single tooth, bridge or crown replacement. With mini-dental implants, the stabilisation of dentures or other prostheses (crowns, bridges) can be obtained in few hours since the reduced screw size requires less surgical intervention, and there is a guarantee of an immediate and long-lasting stabilisation for subjects who are not able, for various reasons, to tolerate a conventional implant. Even for mini-dental implants, as for conventional implants, a local anaesthetic is sufficient. Usually, only 4 screws are needed to stabilise a complete denture.

The contact between dentures and gums often results in a continuous modelling of the bone, hence requiring continuous denture modification and adaptation (the so-called gum-dropping). More so, denture stability may decrease during the years. Up to the point where the use of adhesive glues is necessary to improve their placement. The lack of denture stability can result in facial muscle tensions as well as that linked to the mastication muscles, pain due to incongruent gum contact, the so-called decubitus, bothersome contact noise among the teeth while speaking. Usually the first thing that can be noticed is that whoever suffers from these embarrassments tends to smile with their mouth shut or cover it with their hand. However, also the mastication capacity is quite different in comparison to a fixed prosthesis on natural teeth or implants. Not only, the masticatory efficiency is also different in average. Above all, it is particularly difficult to chew hard foods or bite fruit or large rolls. Not to mention, the presence of a resin palate inevitably reduces the sense of taste.

last update: 21 January 2008

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