How do mini dental implants differ from traditional dental implants?

Doctor's Answers 2

“What are mini implants?”

Mini dental implants, as its name suggests, are generally of a smaller diameter (<3mm), thus they are thinner than that of normal implants.

They normally come with the abutment and the implant as a piece, whereas for conventional dental implants the pieces are separated. You could picture the mini implants as nail screws and traditional implants as bolt and cap nuts.

“How does it differ from traditional dental implants?”

There are definitely differences in the physical properties and also indications for minis and conventional due to the innate difference in their size and the fact that they don’t have an abutment.

The argument for and against the use mini implants can be summarised as follow.

FOR: Less costly. Less extensive surgery for placement.

AGAINST: Less stability. Higher risk of fracture and failure over time with need for replacement. Less ease of cleansibility, higher risk of inflammation and bone loss around implant over time.

Till date, traditional implants are generally seen as the “gold standard”, with extensive research done on it. There are still cases of success in which the prosthesis still is present after a few years with minimal bone loss. But the failures outweigh success so far.

Mini implants have limited applications, and MAY be considered only in certain cases:

  1. Replace teeth where forces on the teeth are low/ very small teeth when patient insists on having implants e.g. lower front teeth.
  2. Support a denture
  3. Orthodontic purposes as anchors

Every patient is unique and thus there is need for a full analysis before deciding on the best available option for you.

I would advise you to seek the opinion from an experienced GP or a well trained implant specialist e.g.) periodontist/ oral surgeon/ prosthodontist to discuss your treatment needs before coming to a decision.

You can find out more information about dental implants in Singapore here.

Hope this helps!(:

Thank you for your question about mini-implants. Dr Joanne Lam has answered beautifully in her previous post, and I would just like to add a few thoughts.

The use of mini-implants has certainly been controversial.

In the dental industry, there have been whispers or rumours of a few dishonest dentists offering mini-implants for patients when they are clearly not appropriate, just to persuade patients to undergo treatment at a lower fee.

It is difficult for patients sometimes to discern regarding the appropriateness of mini-implant use, because professional opinions regarding mini-implants can vary from dentist to dentist.

Patients find the low fees very attractive, they get mini-implants done, and sometimes as soon as months later, the mini-implants fail.

Mini-implants have their place in modern dentistry, but it is imperative that the dentist knows when to recommend for their use, in order to achieve the best long term success for the patient.

This only comes with experience, training and an honest mindset.

I hope you find the above information useful and dont forget to visit your trusted dentist for further advice if needed.

Kind Regards,

Dr Gerald Tan

Similar Questions

How do I know if mini dental implants are suitable for me?

Thank you for your question about mini-implants. I get this question a lot at my practice and I am happy to share with you and other readers my views on the matter. The use of mini-implants has certainly been controversial. The key to success for any mini-implant case starts with understanding its indications and contraindications and its pitfalls when indicated wrongly. Latest scientific evidence concludes that Mini implants have limited applications, and should be considered only in certain cases. Here are some common examples when Mini Implants can be considered: 1.

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Answered By

Dr Gerald Tan


What’s the recovery process like after getting dental implants?

It really depends on the complexity of the surgery and difficulty of the case. In simple cases recovery could be within 1-3 days. In more complex, extensive surgeries, it could take 1-3 weeks !

Photo of Dr Gerald Tan

Answered By

Dr Gerald Tan


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