I believe it's necessary to express my disappointment over an article appearing in your January issue (page 30). I've been happy to see that Dental Economics® recognizes how important it is in today's economy for clinicians to offer narrow-diameter implant treatment to their denture patients. I've seen this referenced in several articles already this year, and I wholeheartedly agree. While I welcome any information that focuses on the benefits and value of narrow-diameter implants, IMTEC's MDI system was unfairly targeted by the article, “Learn to Love the Denture Patient Again.”
Although 3M IMTEC is never directly mentioned, the article reads, “…other mini-implant systems that rely on clumsy metal housings...” which is a misleading statement. IMTEC's MDI system utilizes metal housings, therefore readers will assume this is referring to our system. Most MDI clinicians prefer to use the metal housing attachments, due to the versatility in retention the family of metal housing attachments provides. Of course, the MDI system could also easily be used with a silicone reline material if desired, or the implant and o-ring may be used with the denture without a metal housing.
The article further states that “…the implants must be placed perfectly parallel.” As published in our placement protocol and taught in our MDI seminars, IMTEC's metal housings actually accommodate up to a 30-degree divergence between two implants. Therefore, the “perfectly parallel” statement is very misleading to readers. The author even goes on to say that the Dentatus system gives the dentist “much more leeway and is significantly easier to use.” I'm not sure what led the author to this conclusion as no comparative references are given, but when one evaluates the flexibility of the IMTEC MDI system, one finds great leeway to treat patients with variable bone density and retention desires. As a practicing clinician, that's something I would certainly define as leeway.
The fact remains that IMTEC's MDI System is one the most highly recognized systems and the most commonly used small-diameter implant system in the world. I respect the article's author, Dr. Louis Malcmacher, as an opinion leader in the industry, and I applaud him for spreading a message that has always been the heart of IMTEC's mission: lower denture stabilization can be affordable for the patient and simple and profitable for the general dentist. I regret that all of the benefits of the IMTEC MDI system were not clear to him before this article was written, and I appreciate the opportunity to set the record straight.
Ronald A. Bulard, DDS, Ardmore, Okla.