THE USE OF MINI DENTAL IMPLANTS AS OVERDENTURE ABUTMENTS FOR THE EDENTULOUS MANDIBLE

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Sarra Jawad

Abstract

People who have no teeth at all suffer greatly with daily life. False teeth (complete dentures) are usually made by dentists to replace the missing teeth and gums. However, they are often difficult to tolerate, and make eating and speaking difficult. This in turn impacts on social activities, such as eating in public, and quality of life in general. The lower jaw is more problematic than the upper, due to the shape of the gums, and the fact that the gums erode in time. The result is that lower dentures are particularly unstable, and have a tendency to move more during eating and speaking. Dental implants are titanium screws that can be positioned in the jaws to secure dentures, thereby preventing them from moving as much. Previous research shows that two dental implants in the lower jaw can vastly improve the quality of life in these patients. There has been national and international agreement that two implants in the lower jaw should be the first line of treatment for patients with no teeth. However, this is not the reality in the UK. The reasons for this are explored further in this research. Cost is a huge factor, and dental implants are not currently freely provided by the NHS. A relatively new, cheaper dental implant has been developed, called a mini implant. It has a smaller width compared to conventional implants and is often made of a slightly different type of titanium. This implant is projected to cost a quarter of the conventional alternative. Therefore there is a possibility that these implants could be used on all patients with no teeth, to improve their quality of life. However, there is insufficient evidence at present to support this theory. This research looks at the available evidence, and shows the design and execution of a pilot trial to compare mini implants with conventional implants to determine whether mini implants work, and whether they are cost-effective long-term, and whether their design could be improved. In addition to this, medium- and long-term cost predictions are used to assess whether the cost impact would be feasible for the NHS.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date31 Dec 2019