Mini Dental Implants: A Valuable Service for Your Patients and Your Practice

Author : Dental Product Shopper
Published Date 06/30/2014
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For many reasons, general practitioners should consider incorporating mini dental implant procedures into their practice services. After having placed 12,000 mini dental implants, I know they provide a valuable, conservative, and minimally invasive treatment for appropriate patients.

The Best Time for Mini Dental Implants

What negative concerns do denture patients experience? Reluctance to smile, fear of dentures falling out, diminished or absent sense of taste, difficulty speaking clearly, and the gag reflex. These issues are addressed by using 4 to 6 mini dental implants to stabilize dentures in one appointment. Mini dental implants also can be used selectively in the replacement of missing teeth to support an individual crown, short-span bridge, or a full-arch bridge in 1 or 2 appointments. The 3-unit bridge becomes a single mini-implant-supported crown, preserving adjacent healthy dentition and preventing damage to natural teeth and the inevitable future replacement of the bridge. 

Mini Dental ImplantsThe Mini Implant Advantage

As an alternative to larger diameter implants, mini dental implants offer many advantages:

? Reduced patient discomfort and trauma during and after treatment.

? Mini dental implants are placed with early loading, typically in 1 or 2 patient appointments. Patients enjoy rapid results without several procedures, multiple appointments, and up to a year until completion with large diameter implants.

 ?Typically, conventional implants necessitate a bone graft, and often a sinus lift procedure followed by healing before the implant can be placed. Then placement frequently requires a flap surgery and large osteotomy site. With a mini dental implant, a tissue flap is not required nor is a sinus lift. Additionally, for most mini implant procedures, a bone graft is not needed; a 1.2 mm pilot hole is drilled for placement of the mini implant, which is threaded into the bone.

? With numerous parts to purchase (abutments, healing collars, waxing sleeves, analogs, screw retention parts, etc.), large diameter implants can be costly and require patients to be referred out for multiple visits to a specialist. Mini dental implants are usually a one piece design and a quarter of the cost of large diameter implants. The general dentist can pass the savings on to the patient, perhaps reducing the overall cost by up to half of what fee would be for the large diameter implants.
These benefits mean greater acceptance of the mini dental implant treatment plan versus large diameter implants. Patients will appreciate simplifying their busy lives by completing all treatment in the same office, and the new revenue stream will add to the bot- tom line of the general practice.

Training Is Key 
My belief is that dentists who can place a post in an endodontically treated tooth can learn mini dental implant techniques. Training requires a minimal investment in money, time, and energy.
Training will both maximize the opportunity of incorporating mini dental implants and help decrease the learning curve. From personally training over 11,000 dentists at my courses around the world, I know how important proper training is for achieving success. A comprehensive training course should include these 5 significant areas:
1. Protocols for replacing missing teeth and denture stabilizations
2. Treatment planning
3. Case selection
4. Anatomical considerations
5. Marketing
Mini dental implant courses are conveniently available in various cities across the United States, and are offered as 1- or 2-day courses. Certification course fees range from $700 to $1500. I recommend a chairside assistant and a hygienist attend the training as well. From this experience, these team members will come to understand and appreciate the benefits of mini dental implants and will be able to communicate the practice?s enthusiasm to prospective mini dental implant patients. 
Implementation and Return on Investment (ROI)
The average monetary cost of a starter supply of mini dental implants and drills with the hand instrumentation is approximately $2500. In my experience, a 2D panoramic x-ray is sufficient for diagnosis. A 3D CBCT scan is generally not necessary. Impressions for diagnosis can be polyvinyl or digital if available.
Introducing mini dental implants into the general practice should be an easy transition for the dental team. The techniques for placing mini dental implants are simple to learn and auxiliaries quickly become familiar with the procedures. The dental team will enjoy seeing the upbeat treatment results from mini dental implants. They will share in the satisfaction patients experience when treatment is completed. In addition, the CDT Procedure Code 6013 for mini dental implants became available at the beginning of this year.
Practice earnings can experience a significant boost with mini implants. For example, a general dentist who stabilizes 2 dentures a week with mini dental implants will increase revenue by over $400,000 a year. Another dentist who replaces 4 teeth a week with mini dental implants will also generate $400,000 a year in increased revenue. This is all accomplished without having to invest in new capital equipment or technology, without adding new team members, without adding hours to the practice?s schedule, and without extensive time spent by the dentist in learning a new technique. I have personally tripled my revenue since I started placing mini dental implants 13 years ago.

Candidates for mini dental implants already exist in dental practices. They include patients who have declined replacing missing teeth and those who are unhappy with the fit of their dentures. In my experience, when given the choice of conventional implants versus mini dental implants, patients prefer the latter. And once treatment is completed, my patients are very appreciative and they eagerly refer family and friends. In addition, I have had patients request further replacement of missing teeth as the need arises. 
Expand Your Practice
Mini dental implants have been shown to be a practice builder? they are well received by patients with the growing demand for affordable, quality treatment solutions to replace missing teeth and to stabilize loose dentures. Consider becoming a dentist who places mini dental implants and experience the practice growth you deserve.