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Use of Mini Dental Implants on the Rise but Questions Linger
Date:11/20/2008

CHICAGO, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- There is spirited debate in the field of implant dentistry about proper use of mini dental implants. Proponents are urging wider use of the shorter, less costly procedure while others advocate a more conservative approach until several long-term outcomes studies are published, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), http://www.aaid.com.

Concerns also have been raised about whether general dentists who adopt mini implants receive sufficient implant training. Though mini-implant companies provide weekend training sessions, AAID believes such instruction falls short of what dentists must know before adding implants to their practices.

"Dentists need to be well versed in implant dentistry before using mini implants," said Kim Gowey, DDS, a past AAID president. "Without extensive implant knowledge, they will not know proper surgical techniques and all the basics about bone healing critical for implant success. If you want to practice implant dentistry, there are no shortcuts for gaining the necessary knowledge and training."

In a plenary-session presentation at the recent AAID annual scientific meeting, Todd Shatkin, DDS said mini implants are half the diameter of traditional implants -- almost toothpick size -- and the insertion procedure is less invasive and half the cost of traditional implants. "Mini implants made from titanium alloys are strong enough to withstand normal chewing force and can be used confidently for immediate-load, long-term restorations," said Shatkin. He added that he now uses mini implants for stabilizing dentures, single-tooth implants and even full-arch restorations.

"The FDA has approved some mini implant systems for long-term use, and patients can have a denture stabilized in about an hour or get a single-tooth implant in 30 minutes," Shatkin said. He re
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SOURCE American Academy of Implant Dentistry
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