Exploring Mini Dental Implants Vs Traditional Implants

Feb 21, 2024
misc image
When it comes to mini dental implants vs traditional implants, both have similar functions and share some characteristics. This article discusses how they differ and when mini dental implants may be the preferred choice.

Standard dental implants, known for their natural appearance, have become a preferred choice over traditional dentures and bridges due to their aesthetics, comfort, and convenience.

Mini dental implants offer similar benefits while also serving as an alternative when standard implants aren't feasible.

Both regular and mini dental implants offer numerous advantages over traditional tooth replacement methods. They effectively restore your smile by closely resembling real teeth or even improving upon them, and they deliver lasting functionality.

If you're dealing with tooth loss, which option is best for you? Let's explore the similarities and differences between regular dental implants and mini implants to help you make an informed decision.

Mini dental implants vs traditional implants - The similarities

Mini implants and conventional dental implants share several characteristics and perform the same functions.

Both types of implants feature a bio-compatible titanium post that is surgically placed into the gum to support a prosthetic tooth or teeth. Once inserted, the post serves as a permanent fixture in the jaw, functioning as an artificial tooth root. This offers a significant advantage over conventional dental appliances like bridges or dentures.

While these appliances don’t address the problem of bone resorption due to a lack of stimulus from a tooth root, dental implants encourage bone growth. This helps to maintain facial structure – and your smile.

In addition to restoring your smile and confidence, both regular dental implants and mini implants also:

  • Offer significantly stronger biting power compared to conventional dentures.
  • Provide stability for the adjacent natural teeth.
  • Can last for many years with proper maintenance and care.

Understanding the difference in mini dental implants

When comparing mini implants to regular dental implants, size plays a significant role. Mini dental implants offer an effective solution for tooth replacement when regular implants may not suffice.

This difference primarily stems from their smaller size. While regular implants typically range from 3.25 to 5 millimeters in diameter, mini implants have a diameter of less than 3mm.

Additionally, the construction of mini implants differs slightly from regular dental implants. A traditional dental implant consists of a titanium post and an abutment to secure the artificial tooth. On the other hand, the mini version features a ball-shaped end that extends from the jaw bone, along with a rubber O-ring to hold the tooth in place.

Challenges associated with jaw bone loss

Jaw bone loss is a common issue that can affect eligibility for traditional dental implants. While most individuals are potential candidates for regular dental implants, there are exceptions to consider.

For instance, for a successful regular dental implant placement, the jawbone must be fully developed and have an adequate amount of quality bone to support the implant. If this isn’t the case, a bone graft procedure may be necessary to address the issue.

Bone grafts for dental implants

A bone graft may be required before implant placement if the patient’s jawbone is lacking in width and density. This may be due to:

  • Failure to replace a missing tooth, resulting in a lack of stimulation for bone growth.
  • Bone loss due to prolonged use of traditional dentures.
  • Damage to bone and ligaments caused by gum disease, affecting gum tissue as well.

Avoiding the need for a bone graft

A bone graft is a complex and costly procedure that involves additional surgery alongside implant placement. However, the need for a bone graft can be bypassed with the use of mini dental implants which offer an alternative solution in various situations where regular implants may not be suitable for effective tooth replacement.

When mini dental implants might be preferable

Not everyone is a candidate for standard-size dental implants, which is why mini implants were developed to address the limitations of traditional implants.

Mini implants are advantageous because they can fit into smaller spaces, making them suitable for replacing smaller teeth such as incisors and premolars. They can also be used to stabilize loose-fitting dentures and prevent them from moving.

In some instances, mini implants offer a viable solution, especially if you have a medical condition that might raise concerns about standard-sized implants. When determining your suitability for regular implants, the dentist will evaluate several factors affecting the integration of the implant with your jawbone and the healing process in your mouth.

These factors encompass your medical history and overall health status. Medical conditions that may suggest mini implants as a preferable option include

  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Significant immune deficiencies
  • Hemophilia, which affects blood clotting

If you have issues with the volume of bone in your jaw, mini implants provide a way to bypass the need for a bone graft and the associated surgery required for standard implants.

Mini implants achieve this by not needing full embedding in the jawbone, yet they still offer an effective artificial tooth root similar to regular-size implants.

Pros and Cons of Mini Dental Implants


Mini-implants encompass all the perks of standard implants. Yet, due to their compact size, the process of inserting them is notably less intrusive compared to larger implants. Consequently, this results in quicker recovery times and reduced discomfort, with minimal impact on the surrounding soft tissue, often eliminating the necessity for stitches.

Moreover, artificial teeth attached to mini implants can frequently be installed right away – a contrast to standard implants, which typically involve waiting several months.

Another advantage of mini implants lies in their cost-effectiveness: they tend to be more economical than regular implants and can bypass the additional expense of a bone graft.


Although mini implants frequently offer a remedy for jaw bone issues, they may not be suitable in cases of insufficient vertical bone, often stemming from gum disease.

Furthermore, habitual teeth grinding, which can result in the wearing down of implants, may disqualify you as a suitable candidate for mini dental implants

Mini dental implants vs traditional implants – Which to choose

Regular dental implants and mini dental implants offer unique benefits and limitations, depending on your particular circumstances.

Determining whether dental implants are suitable for you and which type is more appropriate largely depends on the condition of your oral health.

To make a well-informed decision regarding your candidacy for dental implants and the most suitable type for your needs, it’s essential to consult with an experienced dental implant dentist.

Ready to take the next step?

Chesterfield Dentistry is always on hand if you want expert advice on which dental implant type is suitable to meet all your requirements and restore your smile. We’re also happy to discuss other methods of tooth replacement to meet your needs, lifestyle and budget.

Why not schedule a free dental implant consult today?