Mini dental implants are a new treatment concept. They have a much smaller diameter than standard fixtures. You can see in the photograph on the right that their diameter is about 1/3 of the standard. Because of the smaller diameter, the surgery is much easier. It is also easier to avoid critical anatomical structures. And the healing time is faster.
All of this means lower cost for you, the patient. The cost of stabilizing a denture with mini implants will be about half the cost of using standard diameter fixtures. But this also means that you should be cautious. Let’s explain some limitations of the procedure and some very important risks that you need to understand.
As a patient, you need to understand that implant dentistry is a relatively new and unregulated branch of dentistry. A lot of dentists are jumping on the bandwagon without adequate training or experience. But dental implantology is also a very risky treatment. See our page on dental implant failure for an explanation of many of the things that can go wrong. Mini implants are appropriate for certain situations, but not for others. Make sure that your implant dentist is using them appropriately.
Limited Uses for Mini Implants
While they are faster and easier to place, they can’t be used for every dental implants situation. They are good for stabilizing a denture, but they aren’t strong enough to support a lone tooth in a situation where you have a single missing tooth. Standard dental implants are made to be about the diameter and length of normal tooth roots. Thus they are able to safely support a tooth. A mini root form is only about 1/3 the diameter of a normal tooth root. It simply can’t support the same restoration.
This is one reason it’s important to seek treatment from an implant dentist with strong educational credentials who can help you save money by using mini implants but knows what you can reasonably expect as far as strength. Otherwise, you may have teeth that look nice and function well for a few years but then get loose and fall out.
Mini implants can be useful to help stabilize a denture. While they aren’t as sturdy as standard sized fixtures, they are considerably less expensive, and using them can do a great deal to improve a denture. But they are too risky for tooth replacements. Be very careful before you believe advertising presentations that sound too good to be true.
If you would like a second opinion on your case, or if you simply have questions about whether mini dental implants or conventional implants would work for you, Glendale, CA implant dentist Dr. Robert Thein would be happy to see you.