Advantages and Limitations of Mini Dental Implants

Dental implants have proven to be a viable and healthy solution for many who suffer from tooth loss as a result of causes ranging from health decisions to genetic misfortune. Mini implants are one of the most advanced and effective solutions for the replacement of natural teeth. They can be a solution for those that have significant bone loss or are looking for a more affordable option to full dental implants.


What Are Mini Dental Implants?

Mini implants are a smaller version of a full-sized dental implant. They are toothpick thin posts that are made from titanium. Most frequently mini implants are used to stabilize the lower denture helping to eliminate the discomfort of a moving denture.  Mini implants come with many advantages; however, they also carry with them limitations, as is outlined below.

Advantages of Mini Implants

  • The surgery is minimally invasive.
  • The entire process takes only a few hours. The patient can walk in to the office in the morning and out the same day with a full set of teeth.
  • The quick recovery of a mini implant patient can allow the patient to eat the same day.
  • It is a solution for patients that have significant bone loss that restrict them from being candidate for full dental implants.
  • It is a solution for patients that cannot have surgery for medical reasons.
  • Mini implants requires no sutures or long recovery periods.

Resource Credit

We would like to offer our special thanks to Dr. Lee Fitzgerald, offering Dallas Dental Implants, who provided a great deal of information about the advantages and limitations of mini dental implants.

Limitations on Mini Dental Implants

  • Mini implants are not an ideal, long-term solution based on the thinness of the implant.
  • Non-removable dentures are not an option with mini implants.
  • Mini implants do not offer the same degree of stability that a normal dental implant does.
  • Some of the same drawbacks of traditional dentures apply when mini implants are used: somewhat uncomfortable, clicking, and esthetic drawbacks such as bad breath. They can only be used on the lower arch. The upper arch does not integrate with the implants. Metal fatigue is a risk with mini implants due to their size, so they can malfunction.

The best long-term option is a full dental implant, however, the cost is higher. Mini implants are a good alternative, but they cannot be seen as a replacement to natural teeth to the same degree that a dental implant is considered.

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Comments 9 comments

DrPetrosky 6 years ago

Mini dental implants such as Imtec and Intra-Lock are FDA approved for restoring partially or fully edentulous patients. The abutements have been designed to be used in the mandible or maxilla and to support removable or fixed prosthesis. Therefore, mini dental implants are in fact used for long term solutions!!! DrPetrosky


DrPetrosky 6 years ago

For example, one of the most respected, renouned U.S. dental educators and board certified prosthodontist, Dr. Gordon J. Christensen, states in his national newsletter of September 2009 Clinician Report: ‘Gordon and Paul’s Top 10 Concepts, Techniques, and Products’ that the #1 concept is:

“Small Diameter Implants: Root form implants have been the most important innovation in dentistry since the air rotor nearly 50 years ago. Millions of people globally have need of retention and support for removable prostheses, crowns, or fixed prostheses. However, many of them do not have adequate bone quantity in which to place root form implants 3mm or over in diameter, and, for financial or health reasons, they cannot have bone grafting. Small diameter “mini” dental implants serve these patients. Small implants, ranging from 1.8mm to 2.9mm in diameter, have now proven themselves capable of supporting complete dentures, removable partial dentures, fixed prostheses, and even some single tooth replacements. Although criticized by some, the research is supportive of these implants with proper treatment planning and placement. ” DrPetrosky


pareshpateldds 6 years ago

I believe dental patients can be better served by orgainzed dentistry if we are not quite so divisive in our professional opinions. This sort of information and misinformation on mini dental implants only serves to confuse and divide providers and patients from achieving their common goal - having teeth and supporting structures again.

I will agree to disagree with some of the comments here.

Mini implants can and do serve as a viable option for long term solutions for dentures and crowns. The whole concept that bone would not integrate around a mini dental implant just due to its size is nonsense. If anyone really wants to see evidence then a literature review on it will produce several clinical and histological results showing osseointegration between the mini implant and new bone.

The metal used in mini implants is the same as with a tradtional implant along with the surface coating...no different.

All implants can malfunction. A traditional implant is two pieces connected together with a screw or taper design. Just as with a mini implant the chance for failure always exsits. The survival rate for traditional implants and mini implants are very similar. No need to make the traditional implant look better by unfairly criticizing the mini implant.

In summary: both solutions work...best to have an open mind and discuss all implant options with your dentist to see what would work for your particular situation.


dentist vaughan 5 years ago

Dental implants are becoming the option of choice to replace missing teeth.


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dentalimplantsh 5 years ago from Houston

I can say that Dental implants are the solution of choice for the treatment of one or more missing teeth and for those about to lose teeth due to decay or severe periodontal disease.Thanks so much for this kind of posting. Its very important to know about the stuff. Excepting more good information later.

you can check out http://hubpages.com/health/cheap-dental-implants-h...


DePuy Pinnacle Recall 5 years ago

I'm personally not a fan of synthetic implants, but when I had a hip fracture a few years ago, I underwent a total hip replacement surgery and was implanted with a DePuy Pinnacle hip implant.

Now I'm worried about the possibility of a recall that I've learned from other people who have been injured by the defective hip implant. A number of people have already filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer. I might consider filing one for myself.


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Hanookai 4 years ago from 4312 Woodman Ave. Suite 100 Sherman Oaks Los Angeles

Fantastic hub.This hub is very informative for those people interested in doing a dental implant treatment.


Joy 4 years ago

Thank you for the information I am really trying to glean the truth & most accurate info.


jerome chan 2 years ago

Hi,I had a mini inplant on two teeth.My dentist explain to me that the mini implant is just as good as a regular implant,I do not have any bone problem. Four years later ,the implant fell off.I went back to my dentist and have the wire removed and that was painful.I want to file a law suit against my dentist or the maker of implant.Any body could give who do I contact.My e mail chanjerome3@outlook.com or phone 707 745 1706 (leave a message) and I will behan very grateful Thanks Jerome

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