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What Are Mini Dental Implants?

The MDI 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 leve of force. When seated, the denture gently rests on the gum tissue. The implant fixtures allow for micro-mobility while withstanding natural lifting forces.

Late in l997, Dr. Sendax collaborated about his mini implant theory and design concepts with a colleague, Dr. Ronald A. Bulard. Dr. Bulard had previously formed a dental implant company, IMTEC Corporation, which was at the time manufacturing and marketing standard sized dental implants, abutments, and other dental products. Convinced they were on to something special, the two implantologists spent countless hours studying and refining Dr. Sendax's original creative design, resulting in a more efficient top and collar to the mini dental implants. Combining this now re-designed mini implant with Dr. Sendax's original insertion protocol resulted in a successful breakthrough.  Under Dr. Bulard's direction, IMTEC Corporation began the rather complex and expensive design and manufacturing procedures which ultimately resulted in what is now offered to the dental community under the brand name IMTEC Sendax M D I (mini dental implant). The innovative system and procedure was thereafter formally introduced to the United States dental community at an implant conference in Orlando, Florida in April, l999.

Is the Mini Dental Implant FDA approved?

Yes. Prior to his preliminary discussions with Dr. Bulard, Dr. Sendax had submitted a formal application to the FDA in Washington, DC seeking permission to market the mini dental implant devices to the general public. After providing satisfactory technical and clinical evidence to that agency that the product was safe for public use and in fact had beneficial attributes, the FDA granted its formal consent to market the Mini Dental Implant device not only as a transitional or temporary dental product, but significantly, as a long-term item. ( IMTEC was the first company to receive long-term approval of its MDI implants from the FDA, and for several years, was the only company to have that distinction.) As stated, IMTEC's introduction of the Mini Dental Implant to the dental industry and appropriate marketing efforts under a license granted by Dr. Sendax followed the FDA's consent to market.

What's the primary and most effective use for Mini Dental Implants? 

The most effective use of this unique dental product is stabilization of a lower denture. There are approximately 50,000,000 people in the United States who are "edentulous" (literally meaning lacking teeth) who struggle daily with prosthetic devices. A majority suffer a great deal of discomfort as a result of lose or ill-fitting dentures. Many denture wearers simply withdraw from any type of social engagement as a result of being compelled to wear them. Moreover, it's not uncommon for family members to complain about a denture wearer's disagreeable breath as a result of food being trapped and decaying under their denture prosthesis. Successful placement of the Mini Dental Implant addresses and solves all of these social and practical problems. Denture patients all over the world have experienced relief from loose or ill-fitting dentures from doctors who are trained to place the MDI. Uniquely, the MDI can be utilized to stablilize a denture in a couple of hours by a trained doctor, with the patient leaving the clinic with a stabilized prosthesis.

How specifically can Mini Dental Implants help denture wearers? 

The standard insertion protocol for mini dental implants calls for four of them to be gently screwed into the front of a patient's lower jaw. This is a relatively painless procedure that can be performed by a general dentist, requiring only a mild anesthesia. The mini dental implants, which are approximately the size of wooden toothpicks, are placed about five millimeters apart in the patient's mandible. The patient's denture is then carefully adjusted by the dentist to allow it to snap onto the four mini implants. The result? A tight fitting, completely reliable system that allows a patient to speak and eat with confidence. The Mini Dental Implants are placed in about an hour's time. Because of the unique, minimally invasive procedure, the minute size of the implants, and the characteristic placement area, the typical Mini Dental Implant patient can enjoy a light meal an hour or so after having the mini implants placed. Further,a denture patient who has had his or her prosthesis stabilized with MDI can remove and replae the denture easily after a little practice, and can easily utilize good dental hygiene. All in all, the MDI is quite satisfying.

I'm somewhat aware of the tremendous forces the human jaw usually endures during normal chewing of food. How can these tiny Mini Dental Implants withstand that? 

It's true that what the dental profession calls occlusal forces create dynamic pressures on the human jaw. Our jaws are marvelously designed to adequately withstand those forces. It's also true that mankind has been struggling for centuries to come up with some type of metal or metallic element that can efficiently withstand those forces. Most have been outright failures. However, approximately twenty-five years ago some doctors around the world began experimenting with titanium as a potential dental medium. Titanium is an extremely strong metal used in the construction of aircraft and aircraft engines. The metal, in its commercial form, is incredibly strong and durable. The Sendax Mini Dental Implants takes that metallurgical concept to the next level by adapting an industry approved alloy of titanium. The result is the strongest metal on earth, now commonly referred to as titanium alloy. In fact, extensive tests conducted several years ago by the University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Orthopedics at Dr. Sendax's behest revealed that the particular titanium alloy implants used in the IMTEC Sendax Mini Dental Implants are 64% stronger than ones constructed of commercially pure titanium. The bottom line of this discussion area is simple: If a denture patient has sufficient bone mass to create a rock hard placement of the tiny implant, which an experienced dentist can usually determine by an initial examination, the mini dental implants will generally withstand normal chewing forces just like natural teeth. Fractures are extremely rare, but as the case with a person's normal teeth, can certainly occur.

I've been told by my dentist that my jaw bone is not "dense." Is this a problem with Mini Dental Implants? Will a dentist be able to get a rock-solid resistance state in such a situation? 

After utilizing the standard Mini Dental Implants in his practice, Dr. Bulard quickly anticipated this type of dental patient, and as a result, took steps to expand IMTEC Corporation's original production offering to provide a MAX Mini Dental Implant. Equipped with the same dimensions as the standard ones, the MAX implant has a different thread design that enables it to bite into softer bone and hold.  It's ideal for a patient whose bone density is lacking.

What type surgery is involved with Mini Dental Implants?

A single, minimally invasive surgery is needed for insertion of the Mini Dental Implants. The implants are then put into immediate biting or "loading" function thanks to their "self-tapping" design, thereby anchoring a fixed bridge system. As a result, it is often possible to provide the complete mini implant service in a single office visit. Mini dental implants clearly represent an enormous breakthrough for the dental implant specialty as the most patient-friendly, cost-effective, proven dental implant system available today.

How do I place & remove my dentures?

The Mini Dental Implants and O-ring fixture 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 trouble seating your denture, first make sure the implants and your denture are absolutely clean. Secondly, make sure that you push downward equally on both sides. If you are still experiencing difficulty, see if a family member can give you assistance. To remove the denture, place your thumbs under each side of the lower denture rim and gently push both sides upward at the same time.

What's a typical daily routine one might expect once the Mini Dental Implants have been placed? 

As with all dental applications, there's a short adjustment period during which time you become comfortable placing and removing the denture. Typically, this involves removal of the lower denture in the morning, brushing the gums and implant area with an ACCESS curved bristle toothbrush, rinsing the mouth, rinsing the denture itself, then replacing it.

You must clean and brush the ball of the implant as if they were your natural teeth. As with natural teeth food and bacterial debris must be removed or inflammation of the gums will occur. In addition, food and debris can be forced into the O-ring fixture causing improper seating and loss of retention. The O-ring fixture must also be cleaned out.

The result is a normal day's activity for you, including eating, talking, taking a nap, etc. Then, in the evening, the denture is usually removed again, the ACCESS brush is used, and the mouth thoroughly rinsed. The result is a fully functioning dental appliance that works.

I've heard that standard dental implants are quite expensive. What about Mini Dental Implants?

Mini Dental Implants are surprisingly affordable, and are usually available at a fraction of the cost of traditional implants. By choosing the MDI, you've chosen an enhanced way of life free of a lot of the discomforts and heartaches of a loose or ill-fitting denture. That's worth a lot.