Mini-Implants – Useful for stabilization of dentures when unable to load an “All-on-Four” immediately

One of many advantages of an “All-on-4” procedure is being able to leave our office with new teeth that are secured by 4 dental implants. Patients seem to appreciate the convenience of having their implants and new teeth all done as one procedure. This requires technical skill from the surgeon and an excellent lab technician. Implants placed must reach a certain level of stability when placed in order to support the teeth. This stability is measured by insertional torque values and dictated by industry standards.

allon4What if the torque is not high enough? Catastrophic failure can occur by connecting the teeth to the implants prematurely. Rather than allowing this to happen, it is more prudent to allow the implants time to integrate with the patient’s bone and then connect the teeth at a later date once the implants are more stable.

What kind of teeth do I get if they can’t be secured on the 4 implants? Traditionally the patient would get a denture to wear for 4-6 months. Dentures are loose teeth and do not allow for normal function.

Is there a way to help secure the loose denture so it’s easier to eat, talk, smile, etc without it coming out? Mini-implants placed strategically can be used during the transitional time to secure the denture. These can be placed at the same time of the “All-on-4” procedure or at a later date if necessary. The pictures included here show the placement of 3 mini-implants and the retro-fitted denture after an “All-on-4” procedure where insertional torque values were too low to load the implants immediately.

How do mini-implants differ from the traditional “root form” implants? Mini-implants are one piece implants that have been used for years as an efficient method to temporarily stabilize a denture. Traditionally 4 are placed in the lower or upper jaw for maximum benefit.

Are these mini-implants removed once the permanent implants are integrated? Yes. The surgeon simply removes these implants with a counter-clockwise twist of the implant. The new teeth are screwed to the “root form” implants and are now more stable than ever before. They can not be removed unless unscrewed by the dentist.

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