Mini Dental Implants ~ 1/2 the Cost All the Benefits

Dr. Paresh B Patel's interview on Charlotte Today.  Click to watch patient comments on their experience with mini dental implants for an upper and lower full denture and mini dental implant for a fixed porcelain crown. 



Paresh B Patel DDS  Dentist Mooresville NC

Mini Dental Implants

Mini Dental Implants to solve problems

I got a phone call last night from a Dentist friend of mine in Buffalo NY (one of the worlds best respected Mini Dental Implant clinicians).  He had a patient of his from years ago that had a Resin Bonded Bridge that had now failed. 

She was an interesting young lady in grad school at UNC-Chapel Hill….of course she was in tears that she had lost her front tooth.  IMG_7697

 What to do?  I got her numb and sounded the bone in the missing tooth area…very thin…hardly any bone left to work with in the Lip to roof of the mouth direction.  IMG_7698

Knowing full well that this patient would end up back in the office of the guy who has restored the most mini implants in the US I felt a bit of pressure to get it as correct as possible.

The patient agreed to let me put a mini dental implant in to hold her resin bonded bridge in place until she could get back home and then have the permanent crown made over the mini implant.

So I put in a 2.0 x 15mm Intra Lock mini implant to hold the bridge.  It was fairly easy to grind out a hole in the pontic and fit it over the mini…whew!IMG_7701
I filled in the one wing that was not broken and the hole I created in the pontic with resin cement.  She left so happy and excited.  She had a tooth until a new one could be made for her.

Now for me to see how I did….

The assistant put my mentors patient in the iCAT CT chair and a few nail biting moments later I could see if I had threaded the bone and kept the mini in between the bone and not in air or soft tissue.

IMP^PAN^R^Lisa_Raymond^20100316^000 The Pan x-ray looked good, plenty of bone between the implant and the adjacent roots.

Now for the CT slices…

MPR^EXP^R^Lisa_Raymond^20100316^000 MPR^EXP^R^Lisa_Raymond^20100316^001
We had kept the 2.0mm implant within the 2.5mm of available bone…man was I glad.  




Mini Dental Implants vs Traditional Implants

The next story is about a patient of mine named Storie….how bizarre.  Well actually the patient is the wife of a patient of mine who had placed mini dental implants on to replace his existing partial denture. 

She had broken her tooth.Before Ext

X ray of broken premolar #13

I gave her the option of a root canal, post and a crown.  I thought it was a good option but she had it in her mind to take the tooth out and have implants.  We talked about traditional implants but she wanted what her husband had been offered – mini dental implants and crowns.   

I took the tooth out with some peritomes to preserve the facial bone as much as possible .

After Ext & Bone Preservation X ray of the tooth removed and the socket preservation with De-mineralized  & Mineralized Freeze Dried Bone (6 months later)

The area had healed in quite well and I was pleased with the amount of bone that was preserved in both the Facial/Lingual dimension as well as height.IMG_7513 

3 Intra Lock Mini Dental Implants were placed to act as the roots for the missing premolar and molar (#13 and #14)IMG_7514

As you can see the procedure was very atraumatic to the tissue as no flap was made.  Notice hardly any blood in the sites where the mini implants were placed. 

I standard impression was taken and the case was sent to Valdi and Shatkin FIRST Lab for 2 PFM Crowns.  The thing I like about FIRST Labs is that you don't get charged for the lab analogs for the master model or the 2nd pour for contacts.IMG_7658 IMG_7659 

Not to mention that the crowns look good and more importantly fit well on the mini implants.

IMG_7660 IMG_7661

I dry fitted the mini dental implant crowns in the patients mouth…let her approve the color and aesthetics.  She approved them and we cemented them.  Overall it was a slam dunk case.

IMG_7662 IMG_7666 13 14 Mini Final Xray




Mini Dental Implant Molar Crown ~One Mini Dental Implant per root Part II

As promised here are the photos for the mini implant crown to replace a missing molar tooth.  In this example of using mini implants for a crown 3 minis were used to replace the three roots on the missing upper molar.3MinisforMolarCrown

3 Intra Lock Mini Dental Implants in tooth #3 position

We have been using the iTERO dental scanner for 20 months now and decided to see how it would scan muliple mini dental implants.  I did take a traditional impression as a backup and also to verify the fit of the mini implant crown.  IMG_7597 IMG_7596

I discussed the case with Valdi at Shatkin FIRST Lab's and he felt like there should be no issue with the case using the iTERO scan.  He built the case just like any other one he does on a daily basis. 


iTero model of 3 mini dental implants


FIRST Lab Mini Dental Implant PFM Molar #3


Mini Implant Crown next to a standard crown


Mini Dental Implant Molar Crown Chewing Surface View


Mini Dental Implant Crown Side View

3Minis #3

X-ray of Molar Crown on 3 Mini Dental Implants

Mini Dental Implant Crowns ~ Mini Dental Implant Bridge ~ Mini Impants Do they Hurt Part II

Ok…so more than 6 weeks have passed since the blog about the mini dental implants and do they hurt.  But the patient has finally come back and we took the impression for her crowns.  If you need to scroll down to the original post you can see the teeth that were extracted and the mini dental implants that were placed.

I really wanted to do some Porcelain crowns over the mini implants but $$$ were scarce in this case so a decision was made to use lab fabricated resin crowns.  I took a standard Poly Vinyl impression and sent the case to Shatkin FIRST LabIMG_7566.

Nothing new required for me as the dentist.  From there FIRST Labs places the mini dental implant analog into the impression and makes a replica of what is in the mouth.

IMG_7565 The following set of pictures are the resin crowns on the lab mini dental implant model.  I will take clinical photos of the mini dental implant crowns cemented in place in 2 weeks.

IMG_7567 IMG_7569 IMG_7571

Mini Dental Implants for Missing Laterals

One of the most prevalent dental conditions is missing upper laterals (about 10% of the population is missing these teeth from birth).  IMG_7519

Some of the time, even with orthodontics, there is not enough space to restore the missing teeth with traditional implants (implants with a diameter greater than 3.0 mm).IMG_7522

Most of the patients I have seen either have some sort of removable appliance or a orthodontic retainer with the two missing teeth on it.  The issue is that these teens don't really care to wear their retainer. 

Another solution, the bonded bridge, seems to fail.  While the bonded bridge works well on missing lowers, the clinical data shows that bonded bridges to replace missing upper laterals fail quite often because the central and canine tooth both move to different degrees under chewing function. 

One solution that works well in my hands is a technique that Dr. Todd Shatkin taught me….use mini dental implants.  The Intra Lock or IMTEC Mini Dental Implant can be threaded in between the canine and central.  This mini implant can then hold a crown in place that the patient does not remove.  


This photograph shows a Intra Lock 2.5 x 18mm mini dental implant to replace missing laterals.











One Mini Implant for Each Root?

At the last Annual meeting for Mini Implant Dentists a friend of mine, Dr. Steve Brown, showed several of his cases where he used one mini dental implant for each root on a missing tooth.  Of course I thought, huh?  Not a bad idea, but is there really space?  Tennis Ball

To confirm I spoke with Valdi at Sam Shatkin's FIRST Labs.  Valdi is the master lab tech at the Lab and he said, 'No problem, Dr. Brown has been doing that for years.'  So with that information in hand I had to give it a try.

So, having the sink or swim kind of attitude, I enlisted the help of a friend and long time patient of mine.  He had a missing upper molar that he desperately wanted back, not to mention he had been bugging me to death about it.

So with the big day here and multiple sizes of Intra Lock mini dental implants in stock, we got John numb with 1/2 a carpule of Lidocaine…not a lot really.  Just enough to get the gum tissue numb.

We made one pilot hole and placed a 2.0 x 11mm mini….and then another pilot hole was made carefully.  One more mini was tightened into place…..was there space for one more?  I looked over at the assistant, she nodded her head in approval.   The patient was just sitting there just like the guy in the cartoon….'A bit wider Mr. Sprinkle, I need to see if this tennis ball, I mean this last mini implant can be fit in' I said. 

So there it was, 3 mini dental implants all snug in place ready to support a molar crown!

3MinisforMolarCrown   IMG_7536

An Itero impression was taken and its off to Shatkin FIRST Lab for a PFM Mini Implant Crown.  IMG_7539


Mini Implants ~ Do They Hurt Dr Patel?

I get asked this question quite often.  Of course there is going to be some discomfort you would think having a titanium screw inserted into the jaw bone…..but believe it or not most if not all of my patients claim it was less painful than having an extraction.

Not ever having an implant placed or a tooth removed from my own mouth I always think when I see the condition of most of the mouths that need implants…how is this not hurting to begin with?TT pre mini condtion

But as with most things in life the older I get the more I figure out I don't understand. 

So without further adieu…our patient in her early 60's is now ready to introduce her broken down teeth to Dr. Good (as in good by to the broken and unrestorable roots she has left).  They have been in this sort of condition for the last decade or so. 

The teeth are atraumatically extracted (how an extraction is autraumatic I am not quite certain).  But we try and preserve as much bone as possible I guess is the point. 

The sockets are packed with our freezed dried mixture of mineralized and de-mineralized bone and closed up tight so we hopefully will have some bone to place our mini implants in a few months.

Tick tock…tick tock…tick tock…

Wow…its now been 4 months all in the space of a few lines.  TT mini implants placed


The patient has mini implants placed in the healed areas and we will splint the minis together with some composite while the integrate into the bone. X00483_1 Mini Dental Implant in upper jaw

On the patients left side the mini ended up having to be placed a bit closer to her natural tooth as there lack of good bone where I wanted to place the mini implant. 

She is coming back to see us in 6 weeks and I will continue the post at that time.  To keep costs down for her she has elected to have resin crowns made by First Impression Dental Lab to fit over the mini dental implants. 

Paresh B Patel DDS  Mini Dental Implants

General Dentist Mooresville NC

Mini Dental Implant Crown ~ Mini Implant Cost

News flash of the week…we had our first 'drive by'.  No not a drive by shooting but a patient that said, he saw our sign on his morning drive to work each day.  Intrigued by what a mini implant was he did, 'a bit of searching on the inter-web.'  Pleased with what he learned he decided to make a visit to our office.

So Danny's now in the chair and as he is talking to me he has a curious habit of flipping his one tooth partial round and round in his mouth.  DM Partial He tells me its DM Missing toothbeen years since he lost his front tooth, thought about getting a 'real implant' but he did not see the value in around $1500 for the implant, $500 for the screw that goes into the screw, and $1500 for the cap (all his words). 

I assured him that I was not going to put a 'fake' implant in his mouth…it would be made of a similar titanium alloy and should integrate into his upper jaw just like those 'real' implants. 

We decided to place a DM Mini ImplantIntra-Lock MILO 3.0 x 15mm mini implant to support a single front tooth crown. No flap, no stitches, two small drill holes and then the implant was seated in the bone.  The entire process to place the mini implant was a surprise to Danny in terms of time and lack of discomfort. 

I was able to take one of my acrylic burs and make a hole in the back of his partial.  DM Partial w Hole He was able to use that to cover the mini implant until the lab fabricated crown come back to the office. 

The post will be updated with his final crown photo in a few weeks.

  DM Mini Implant xray He did ask if I could cut off the front tooth on his partial when he gets his crown.  Why, I asked puzzled?  He said, ' so I can flip that darn thing round and round.'