I have been reading about Mini Implants’ reduced cost and how they can be placed without surgery and I prefer to have mini implants instead of the regular implants. Can Mini Implants Be Used To Replace My Missing Molars?
I was asked this question recently and many times in the past. The idea of replacing missing teeth with mini-implants is very appealing to patients mostly for the two reasons mentioned above: 1- Lower cost, and 2- Avoids the need for surgery to place the implants. Two other benefits commonly associated with mini-implants are a simpler procedure and being able to function immediately with them.
Among the disadvantages of mini-implants, the first and most important one is a higher failure rate than regular implants. This is associated with the last benefit named above: Immediate function. By placing them in function immediately, any forces applied to them after placement may cause them to fail. The high success of regular implants can be attributed to a period of healing after placement when they are allowed to fuse to the bone undisturbed under the gums, something that mini-implants do not have.
One characteristic remains that patients fail to take into account many times when requesting mini implants, and that is their size. When you look at a mini-implant, you can see that their circumference or their “thickness” is similar to that of a round toothpick (about 2 mm), and the regular implant is about twice that size or 4 mm in diameter. This is important in terms of good engineering when expecting an implant to take the same forces and function as the root of a tooth. So common sense engineering principles tells us that as you go further back in the mouth, where chewing forces are greatest, and teeth have larger and also multiple roots, the mini-implants are not a sensible choice. Regular diameter implants should be used in the molar area. The only time I would consider putting mini implants in the molar area would be in an edentulous patient using a large number of splinted mini-implants against a complete denture.
Mini implants are a great solution for selected cases, but not all situations fit mini-implants.
Thanks for reading, and if you need to contact me, you can get my contact information below, or leave a comment.
Dentist In West Palm Beach
Carlos Boudet, DDS
1840 Forest Hill Blvd, Suite 204
West Palm Beach, Florida 33406
Phone: Call 561-968-6022