How do mini dental implants differ from traditional dental implants?
I’ve heard and seen adverts on dental implants called ‘Minis’ recently but can’t seem to find much info on that online. Any idea on what that is and how it differs from the traditional dental implants?
“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:
- Replace teeth where forces on the teeth are low/ very small teeth when patient insists on having implants e.g. lower front teeth.
- Support a denture
- 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!(:
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.
Dr Gerald Tan