Shelby Township Dentist Answers Questions About Dental Implants

Question: I visited my dentist and she told me that implants are an option for me to firm up my denture. Please let me know how this procedure works and the benefits and risks involved. Could you also go over the price to do something like this? Thank You.

Answer: Over the years dental implants have been used to firm up dentures and replace missing teeth in a number of different ways. We insert full sized implants to replace missing teeth, but now we can use mini-implants to improve the performance of a full lower denture in just 1 visit. This is a very simple and cost effective technique to keep lower dentures in place and prevent slippage while eliminating denture adhesives. Fees can range from $1,200 and up depending on the condition of the dentures and the number and type of implants needed.
I have had other patients ask me similar questions in the past and here are some answers I have given:

Question: What are the mini-implants and what makes them different from other dental implants?

Answer: The mini-implant is a threaded titanium pin that inserts into the bone. The device is designed like a snap. The female portion of the snap is cemented into the denture and the male portion is placed into the jaw. They are only 1.8mm in diameter, slightly larger in diameter than a pencil lead. As many as 4 of these mini-implants can be used in the front of the jaw to stabilize a denture. The 4 “snaps” give the denture a substantial fit with terrific retention. The placement of this is relatively painless and takes less than 1 hour. The best part is that immediately after you leave the office you can eat you first steak dinner in a long time.

Question: I’ve heard that standard dental implants are somewhat expensive. What about these mini-implants?

Answer: Every patient is different, but in general the mini-implants are about one half the cost of traditional implants. There are limitations to the standard implant, but for those patients who have a significant amount of bone loss these are very effective. The mini-implant can be used in existing dentures if they are functional and not too old.

Question: Are they painful when inserted?

Answer: My understanding is that the level of discomfort is about the same as an extraction. Pain is usually controlled with a couple of aspirins or ibuprofen. Antibiotics are sometimes used depending on the procedure.

Question: Is there a period of time when I can’t wear my denture?

Answer: You can wear your denture immediately after the procedure is done. This is a nice advantage since dentures are depended on to eat your food.

Question: Does dental insurance cover implant procedures?

Answer: Dental insurance covers the basic aspects of dentistry. They consider dental implants something not completely necessary even though they have been successfully placed in patient’s mouths more than 20 years. Apparently loose dentures are acceptable in their minds. You must realize that insurance companies are providers of plans that your employer has negotiated with them. There are some carriers that do provide some type of compensation for implants, but they are few and far between.

Question: What’s a typical daily routine one might expect once the mini-implants have been placed?

Answer: As with all dental applications, there’s a short adjustment period during which time the implant patient becomes comfortable placing and removing the denture. Typically, this involves removal of the lower denture in the morning, brushing the gums and implant area, rinsing the mouth, rinsing the denture itself, then replacing it. The result is a normal day’s activity for the patient, including eating, talking, taking a nap, etc. Then, in the evening, the denture is usually removed again, the implants are brushed and the mouth thoroughly rinsed. The implant patient then opts to sleep with, or without his or her denture. The result is a fully functioning dental appliance that works, is socially acceptable, has a comfortable fit, etc.

Here is a statement from a patient who had some placed:

“I just wanted to thank the people that were responsible for this procedure. It has changed my life. I lost my teeth at the age of 23 and was never able to wear anything but a top plate. It affected by entire personality, and therefore the course of my life. I found this procedure (IMTEC Sendax MDI) by accident on the computer and decided to check in to it further. I had it done about 7 months ago, and it’s wonderful. I really think it’s sad that more people don’t know about it, or do, but are afraid of it. There was enough bone left to hold the implants. Everything was gone in the back of my mouth, so they put four mini dental implants in the front. They are great! I really thought there was no hope of ever being ‘normal’ again, especially after twenty-five years. The fact that this procedure is so affordable, and virtually painless to have performed, is something that the public should be made aware of. Had I not spent hours on my computer, I would have never known about it.”

Deborah Bacon

As you can see dental implants are easy and affordable. After having the mini-implant placed and your denture modified to fit the mini-implants you will be able to eat, laugh, and smile with confidence.

Next month I will review what a standard implant is and current research that assures its success.

Shelby Township Dentist Answers Questions About Dental Implants

Please submit your dental questions to me and hopefully they will appear on the next edition. Submit your dental implant questions to or call us at (586)573-4500

Thank You,
Robert V. Antolak DDS