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Implants placed in the face and skull in my hands are almost always secured with screws. Debates are often had about the value of implant screw fixation by some surgeons but I find that discussion irrelevant as I can see no downsides to doing so. They are easy to place, provide good implant fixation and require no special instruments to do so as they are self-drilling. When it comes to their composition they are made of titanium, a non-ferromagnetic metal that is MRI compatible.

One of the common misconceptions about implant screws are their size. Understandably many patients envision them as like screws at the hardware store. In reality, they are substantially smaller. To help patients understand their remarkably small size I describe them as being smaller than Abraham Lincoln’s jaw on a penny. While that visual description is very informative it means less to many non-US citizens who may not have a good recall of the smallest American coin. (in value)

Since I have many Canadian patients I can provide the same screw size visual using their own money. A typical 2mm wide by 7mm long self tapping screws is smaller than a caribou antler on a quarter or the beaver on the five cent piece.

…or smaller than the loon on the dollar coin.

Suffice it to say it is a very small screw whose effectiveness is not reflected by its size.  

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

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