How do Mini-Implants Broaden My Options?
Dental implant therapy has been one of the most significant advances in dentistry of the past twenty-five years. Tens of thousands are grateful and bear witness to the benefits derived from the opportunity to obtain a replacement for lost teeth that restores their smiles and poise. Several different types of implants and restorations are available. The choice depends upon the amount of bone available, the patient’s general history, and restorative preference.
The computer and medical worlds work in tandem to develop smaller and smaller components. In a similar fashion, a smaller version of the dental implant has been successfully utilized in selected cases. These mini implants enable Dr. Heidari to provide greater denture stability for those patients who cannot withstand the rigors of conventional implant surgery, do not have enough bone to allow for full-sized implant placement, or are in on-going therapy from one prosthetic system to another.
What are Mini-Implants?
The Mini-Implant system consists of a miniature titanium implant that acts like the root of your tooth and a retaining fixture that is incorporated into the base of your denture. The head of the implant is shaped like a ball, and the retaining fixture acts like a socket that contains a rubber O-ring. The O-ring snaps over the ball when the denture is seated and holds the denture at a predetermined level of force. When seated, the denture gently rests on the gum tissue. The implant fixtures allow for micro-mobility while withstanding natural lifting forces.
How Are Mini-Implants Placed?
Placement of the implants is accomplished quickly and easily in a process performed by Dr. Heidari, with local anesthesia or light sedation to help make you more comfortable. Using a precise, controlled, minimally invasive surgical technique, mini-implants are placed into the jaw or maxillary process. The heads of the implants protrude from the gum tissue and provide a strong, solid foundation for securing your dentures. This is a one-step procedure that involves minimally invasive surgery.
No sutures or months and months of recuperating.
What Will My First Day Be Like?
Leave the denture in place until bedtime. You should not experience any excessive bleeding. There will be some mild discomfort, but this should be minimal and controlled by the pain medication you have been given. If needed, talk to your pharmacist and take the pain medication only as directed. The denture should feel secure. You may even eat as soon as you wish to. Avoid excessively hard or sticky foods for a period recommended by Dr. Heidari. Upon removing the denture, rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash and clean around each implant fixture with a cotton swab and toothpaste. Use a cotton swab for three days. After that, use your toothbrush that has been specifically designed to clean your implants and gently stimulate the surrounding gum tissue.
How Do I Place and Remove My Denture?
The implants and the O-ring fixtures must be clean and free from debris. Grasp the denture with both hands and lightly seat the denture, feeling that the O-rings are resting above the ball head of the implants, then press down firmly and equally on both sides. Make sure that you feel the implant heads easily fitting each O-ring. You will feel the denture snap into place. If you have any trouble seating your denture, first make sure that the implants and denture are absolutely clean. Second, make sure that you feel the implants resting over each socket. A light touch will give you the best results. Remember to push downward equally on both sides. If you are still experiencing difficulty, see if a spouse or family member can assist you in placing the denture.
To remove the denture, place your thumbs under each side of the lower denture rim and push both sides upward at the same time. The tongue can also assist in this simple removal process.
What about Care & Maintenance?
You must brush and clean the ball of the implants as if they were your natural teeth. As with natural teeth, food and bacterial debris (plaque) must be removed after meals. If not removed, the plaque will cause inflammation of the gums and can be forced into the O-ring fixtures, causing improper seating and loss of retention. The O-ring fixtures must also be cleaned out.
If your denture does not remain firmly in place, call Dr. Heidari and inform him of your problem. He will determine the appropriate recall interval. At that time, the condition of the implant, your gums, and the O-ring will be reevaluated and properly maintained.