News & Press
John C. Chao, D.D.S., M.A.G.D
Faculty, USC School of Dentistry
Instant Implants Now Available For Dentures Gaggers Can Have "Roofless" Dentures
FDA-accepted long-term instant implants are now available for denture patients who want do away with loose dentures and denture glues. These "mini-implants," 1.8 millimeters in diameter, are non-surgically inserted into the bone. Through a ball-and-socket system, the denture is attached to the implant. The housing, or the tiny metal socket, is processed into underside of the denture. The head of the implant is the ball. The housing snaps onto the ball when the denture is seated. This snap-on system keeps the denture tightly retained onto the jaw and cannot be removed except by hand.
Instant implants do not require that new dentures be made, if the existing dentures are serviceable. No incisions are necessary in the placement of these implants. Thus this is a non-surgical procedure, in that sense. When the dentist has determined the precise location of the implants, and the area is properly anesthetized, the implant is inserted by rotation into bone. Because the procedure is so minimally invasive, there are practically hardly any significant after-effects in most cases. Many patients can eat a sandwich right afterwards.
The cost of these implants is generally one-half to one-third that of conventional two-stage implants that require healing time of several months. There is no insurance coverage, however.
Because the need for volume and density of bone is so minimal, instant implants often can be placed where conventional implants cannot be done without bone grafting.
FDA has given the manufacturer (MDI Implant Co.) clearance to market these implants as "long term" devices. Long term devices are those which have demonstrated they are "safe and effective" for five years or more.
An additional benefit is that an upper denture retained by instant implants can be made "roofless." That is, the part of the denture that covers the roof of the mouth (palate) can be removed. This will enhance ease of speech and sense of taste. For gaggers, this feature is especially welcome.
Implants are like teeth. They must be properly cleaned and maintained just like natural teeth. Regular check ups with your dentist will still be necessary. Ask your dentist whether instant implants are an option for you.