Dental Implants: Regular vs. The Mini Implant

When we asked dentists about dental implants, two out of three dentists reported that they are qualified to offer dental implant therapy. The remaining one out of three dentists do not place implants themselves.

While most love standard implants, opinions about mini dental implants are highly varied. Doctors are split over how often to recommend them.

“Mini implants have worked very well for my patients,” said one dentist, while another opined, “Mini implants are worthless.”

We also asked dentists to select which statement best describes how they feel about the mini dental implant:

  • Good for a variety of implantology patients: 32%
  • Suitable as denture implants for denture patients: 19%
  • Only in a few certain cases: 30%
  • Regular implants are always better: 19%

Here’s a sampling of what dentists had to say:

  • “Compared to cars, regular implants are the Mercedes Benz. Mini implants are the little Toyota Echo.” (Oral surgeon)
  • “Mini implants are good for patients who don’t want or can tolerate regular implants, but failure rates are higher with these minis.” (Arizona dentist)
  • “Mini implants are good for dentures and specific sites, usually as a transitional situation.” (Florida dentist)
  • “Regular implants are better. But for many, minis are the best choice.” (Georgia dentist)
  • “Substandard treatment in most cases.” (California periodontist)
  • “In the correct situation and understanding how to use them, they are a wonderful long-term solution.” (Connecticut dentist)
  • “I did a case with a local specialist, and within 4 months the implants all came out. I looked bad, and the patient left the office. I am not a huge fan of the mini implant.” (Connecticut dentist)
  • “There is seldom an occasion anymore when I can’t replace traditional implants therapy with minis. I’m so thankful I can now offer a less expensive alternative.” (Arkansas dentist)

Read more: Some Dentists Dislike Denture Implants


About Julie Frey

+Julie Frey is the Editor of TheWealthyDentist.com blog. She has dedicated her career to Internet marketing and communications, working side-by-side with dental marketing guru Jim Du Molin since 2006. She has a degree in Linguistics from Stanford University, has a passion for language and writing, and lives in San Francisco.

  • Dental Implant Lab

    From a dental lab opinion we rarely see implants place by dentists inserted in the optimal position for a restoration. More often than not the angle or proximity to adjacent tooth is incorrect. Implant placement shot be left to implant surgeons.

  • Craig A. Schlie, DDS

    Implant dentistry is advanced dental prosthetics with a surgical component. Mini-implants, like other types of implants, usually fail because of poor prosthetic design.

    Craig A. Schlie, DDS, AFAAID
    Redding, California

  • richard hughes, d.d.s.

    I place minis for transitional treatment only and only in the mandibular symphysis. I have placed well over a thousand implants. These are root forms to subperiosteals, blades, endo stabalisers and ramus frames. These all work and work well, however the failure rate that I have experienced with minis is 33.33%. That is way too much for private practice. Richard Hughes, D.D.S., FAAID, FAAIP, Dipl. ABOI/ID

  • richard hughes, d.d.s.

    Eash mini does not have the same surface area as a regular implant, thus they are unsuitable for immediate bone loading.

  • Charles Vogel DDS

    Please help me are you refering to 1.8 (imtec) or 2.5 or 3.0 (intralock) or 3.25,4.0,5.0 (OCO Biomedical) all as minis. We refer to these as overdenture single stage implants that are more affordible since this are single piece one surgery implants. We use all or the above plus Thommen for single teeth. The more patient friendly we make our services we make it the more we will do. Infight about names or brands serves no one. I my overdenture practice we use 20% 1.8 40%3.0 40% 3.25+. Ten years ago we only had 1.8 single stage. I hope this helps clear the air.

  • Paresh B Patel

    I think we are all seeing a convergence of implant sizes from various manufacturers of 3.0mm and smaller. The market has determined that success has been found in the SDI or mini sizes. I find in many mouths that 2.5mm is the largest implant that can be placed without bone augmentation. Just because we can do ridge expansion does not me in all cases we should. I think the surface area issue has been resolved by using more minis such as two for a molar replacement. This sort of division between dentists serves no one.

  • DrRonaldPPetrosky

    Craig…in my experience ,anyone not having success with mini dental implants very likely has not:
    1.taken any courses each year with the International Academy of Mini Dental Implants and DrToddShatkin where you’ll meet many other dentist who are having great success placing and restoring MDI’s.
    2.taken DrGordonChristensen’s 2-day course on MDI in Provo,Utah
    That is the key to success if you want to offer this amazing minimally invasive service to your patients.There are very specific technique differences between regular vs mini implants and without that knowledge…failure is immenent!!
    3. used a cone beam ct scan pre and post op to insure strategic and successful placement.
    DrRonald P Petrosky,DDS,MAGD

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