Mini dental implants have practically all the benefits of standard implants, but as their name implies, they are smaller in size and can be implanted without complex flap surgery, according to Shatkins F.I.R.S.T. Mini dental implants are easier to construct than their full-sized counterparts, meaning they are usually less expensive.
Mini dental implants can be placed within hours, allowing a much quicker healing time, and most patients can eat as normal the same day, explains Dr. Shatkin. Unlike dentures, mini implants do not slip or feel awkward. Since the mini implant is fixed in the jawbone like a tooth root, it prevents facial collapse that can occur with bone loss. They can also be used to realign and improve dentures.
There are always drawbacks to dental surgery, and mini dental implants are no different. Mini implants require bones to support them, and they cannot be used in an area of the jaw with insufficient vertical bone or if there has been too much bone loss, notes Dr. Shatkin. These implants must be fitted in groups to have maximum benefit, states Preferred Family Dentistry. Fitting only one or two teeth cannot be supported adequately, meaning multiple teeth would have to be replaced to make them beneficial. A person who grinds his teeth habitually may not be a good candidate for mini dental implants, as grinding may wear the implants down too quickly.