Mini Implants vs Traditional Implants

Many Americans suffer from tooth loss every single year. However, you don’t have to suffer from difficulty eating, speaking, or insecurity in your smile. Dental implants are a stable and long-term tooth replacement that restores your entire tooth, from root to crown, so you can prevent bone loss. 

However, because there are different types of implants, it can be confusing to figure out which one is right for you. Read on in this blog from Timberlake Dental to find out the differences between mini and traditional implants.

What Are Mini Implants?

Mini implants are a smaller version of dental implants, about the size of a toothpick. These implants are less than 3 mm in diameter. While traditional implants contain two components (the implant and the abutment which attaches to the restoration), mini implants are a single component. 

Mini implants have a ball-shaped end that extends from the jawbone, to which elastic O-rings are attached.

Pros and Cons of Mini Implants

Mini implants are more accessible, cost-effective, and less time-consuming compared to traditional implants. Patients who have suffered from significant bone loss which makes them ineligible for traditional implants can make excellent candidates for mini implants. 

Receiving mini-implants doesn’t require having a large amount of jaw bone and therefore bone grafting is not necessary. This shaves off many months and countless costs associated with this procedure. 

Mini implants are even less invasive than traditional implants, as they only involve one oral surgery rather than two. This reduces the healing time and surgical costs. The initial oral surgery itself can also be done under a simple local anesthetic since the implants are not as big and the surgery is less invasive. 

This procedure can be completed in a single appointment as opposed to the multiple appointments involved with traditional implants. However, mini implants have their trade-offs. More implants are needed to perform the job that a single regular implant can perform. 

Mini implants also have less ideal weight distribution which can put excess stress on the jaw bone. They are also not as long-lasting as traditional implants. While a regular implant can last for a lifetime, mini implants only have a lifespan of 6 to 9 years. They also provide reduced chewing force.

What Are Regular Implants?

Traditional dental implants are much larger than mini implants, with a diameter of 3.25 to 5 mm. These implants contain multiple components – a titanium post that acts as the implant and then an abutment that is attached in a second oral surgery. The crown or some other restoration is then attached to the abutment. 

Pros and Cons of Regular Implants

Regular implants are superior in quality compared to mini implants. They are more durable, have a longer lifespan, provide better chewing force, and require fewer implants to support a restoration. 

Regular implants can last for 25 years or a lifetime with proper care. Since they are larger and provide better weight distribution, this helps assist patients with chewing tougher foods. However, many people are not good candidates for traditional implants because they do not have sufficient jawbone to support them. 

This would require bone grafting, which can take up to 12 months to heal from and would increase implant-related costs and the number of appointments required. The implant procedure is also more invasive and drawn out compared to mini implants. 

Which Is Right for Me?

While nothing can beat the long-term stability and durability of a traditional dental implant, mini implants are the next best thing for patients who don’t qualify as candidates for regular implants. Contact us at Timberlake Dental to schedule an implant consultation with Dr. Rodney Chowning today to find out which is right for you.