Mini vs. Traditional Dental Implants

By Van O'Dell, DDS on July 26, 2019


Mini and traditional dental implantsIf you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, rest assured that there’s an option for replacement. While removable dentures and fixed bridges are helpful, more and more North Little Rock, AR patients are considering dental implants for missing teeth. These artificial tooth roots are surgically anchored into position and function just like natural tooth roots.

Dr. Van O’Dell receives many questions about dental implants each year. A number of these questions involve the differences between traditional dental implants and mini dental implants. Let’s compare and contrast these treatment options.

About Traditional Dental Implants

Traditional dental implants can support individual dental crowns, a dental bridge, a partial denture, or a full denture. These traditional dental implants are roughly 3.5mm to 6mm in diameter. They are anchored into the jawbone and fuse with the jawbone tissue through a process known as osseointegration.

About Mini Dental Implants

Mini dental implants are what their name implies. These kinds of dental implants are roughly half the diameter of traditional dental implants, typically around 2mm to 3mm in diameter. While smaller, they are also able to anchor into the jawbone in order to support dental appliances of various kinds.

Since mini dental implants are smaller, the surgical procedure for placing them takes less time and is not as invasive. These mini dental implants are common for fast-acting implant dentistry procedures.

What to Make of the Size Difference

The size difference between traditional dental implants and mini dental implants makes a major difference when it comes to treatment of tooth loss. Both are able to support dental appliances, though one may be more ideal than the other depending on the patient’s tooth loss and overall dental health.

Ultimately, the size differenced allow dentists to further customize a treatment plan to meet the needs of the patient. Custom solutions for tooth loss are important to us and our North Little Rock patients, which is why we take great care during the consultation process.

When Traditional Dental Implants Are a Better Option

Traditional dental implants are generally best for most patients who are missing a tooth or multiple teeth. Once osseointegration has completed, the dental implants are able to secure dental appliances with a stability comparable to traditional tooth roots.

When Mini Dental Implants Are a Better Option

Mini dental implants are typically recommended for patients who have lost individual teeth and have sufficient bone density in place to support these tinier implant posts. Multiple mini dental implants can also be used to anchor a full lower-arch denture.

Bottom Line: Is One Option Better Than the Other?

“Better” can vary from patient to patient, but for overall stability, traditional dental implants are typically best.

The larger implant posts mean greater overall stability for single-tooth appliances as well as full-arch dentures. This isn’t to say that mini dental implants should be avoided, but simply that traditional dental implants offer a number of advantages even if the oral surgery is more invasive and recovery times lengthier.

Developing a Treatment Plan for Your Needs

We mentioned that custom care is of paramount importance to our dental care team. That’s why we encourage you to visit our North Little Rock dentistry clinic to learn more about your many restorative options.

Learn More About Implant Dentistry

To learn more about dental implants and how a skilled dentist can help you, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist. Dr. Van O’Dell Cosmetic & Family Dentistry can be reached by phone at (501) 758-5006.

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