If you’re considering getting dental implants, you may be wondering if treatment with mini dental implants is an option for you. The different implant treatments can be a little confusing. So we’re presenting the basics about mini implants here – the pros, the cons, and whether they may be right for your situation.
First, what are mini dental implants? As you may have guessed from the name, they’re smaller than regular dental implants. A mini implant is about the size of a toothpick, whereas regular implants are more like screws. The small size makes mini implants good for situations where there’s not enough bone to support a larger implant.
Mini Dental Implants Have Some Key Advantages
With their smaller size, they offer some key advantages:
- Less Invasive – Their small size means less drilling and disruption to the surrounding bone and gums. There’s minimal pain and faster recovery compared to standard implants.
- Immediate Functionality – Regular implants can take months to fuse to the bone before they can support a replacement tooth or bridge. Mini implants can often be loaded immediately, meaning you can start using them for chewing and speaking right away.
- Lower Cost – Mini implants are cheaper than regular implants, typically ranging from $500-$1,500 per implant compared to about $1,000-$3,000.
- Support Dentures – Several mini implants can be used to securely anchor and stabilize dentures instead of using dental adhesive. This can greatly improve your comfort and ability to chew.
Mini Implants Aren’t Always the Best Option
That said, mini dental implants aren’t a “magic bullet” solution. Some situations are simply better suited to full-size implants. With our expertise, we will help you determine which kind of implant will work best for you.
Research suggest that mini implants have a higher failure rate. Some studies have found a higher rate of failure compared to regular implants, perhaps around 5-10 percent versus 2-4 percent for full size implants. Proper placement and loading technique can help minimize failure. That’s why it’s so important to get your implants from an experienced dentist.
They also have a shorter lifespan. Estimates range from 3-10 years vs 15-25 years or more for regular implants. With good oral hygiene and regular dental visits, mini implants can still last many years.
They aren’t ideal for molars. The small size means mini implants are not designed to withstand the high biting forces of back molars. They’re better suited for incisors, canines, and premolars.
As with full-size implants, you will need a certain amount of bone density. Mini implants usually require at least 5 millimeters of healthy bone width and height. Otherwise the bone may not be thick enough to hold them firmly.
When Might We Suggest Treatment With Mini Dental Implants?
So when might mini dental implants be the right choice? Here are a few good use cases:
- Replacing a single lost tooth, especially in the front or pre-molar area. The small size means less bone disruption.
- Stabilizing partial or full dentures when there’s inadequate bone for regular implants. Several strategically placed mini implants can retain a removable denture very securely.
- As temporary supports during full mouth reconstruction or implants. They can serve as interim anchors for teeth/bridges.
- For patients with medical conditions like diabetes or osteoporosis that affect healing. The minimally invasive procedure causes less trauma.
- When budget or fear of surgery is a concern. They provide an implant solution that is faster, easier, and cheaper.
Rest assured, we’ll take all factors into account and recommend a treatment plan that will give you the best long-term function and aesthetics.