11 doctors weighed in:

Are mini implants a good alternative to regular ones? I was advised by my dentist that i need 2 implants. Due to cost and time issues i want to know if mini implants are a good alternative. I am 66 yrs old. My dentist also wants me to have a cone beam

11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Evan Wetzler
Dentistry - Periodontics
3 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

Mini implants are best used when supporting a removable denture.
Multible implants are best for adequate support. For a single tooth replacement, use only if inadequate bone support is present and to restore a small tooth or a tooth that will not take on too much force during chewing. A cone beam x-ray is always recommended to analyze available bone and surgical landmarks.

In brief: Yes

Mini implants are best used when supporting a removable denture.
Multible implants are best for adequate support. For a single tooth replacement, use only if inadequate bone support is present and to restore a small tooth or a tooth that will not take on too much force during chewing. A cone beam x-ray is always recommended to analyze available bone and surgical landmarks.
Dr. Evan Wetzler
Dr. Evan Wetzler
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1 doctor agrees

In brief: No mini/yes conebeam

Mini implants are "hot" on the dental scene, but from my experience are prone to breakage and have severe limitations from a restorative perspective.
Traditional implants are worth the additional funds and a cone beam is essential in placing the implants in exactly the appropriate position! Your dentist is guiding you correctly, follow the advise for long term satisfaction!

In brief: No mini/yes conebeam

Mini implants are "hot" on the dental scene, but from my experience are prone to breakage and have severe limitations from a restorative perspective.
Traditional implants are worth the additional funds and a cone beam is essential in placing the implants in exactly the appropriate position! Your dentist is guiding you correctly, follow the advise for long term satisfaction!
Dr. I. Jay Freedman
Dr. I. Jay Freedman
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Dr. Kevin Owoc
Dentistry - Prosthodontics

In brief: Can you Compromise?

Mini implants are a great service to patients who have very minimal bone, and who cannot make the financial investment for conventional implants.
However, there is a difference: mini implants are smaller and offer less attachment choices. Conventional implants are less likely to fail due to size, and can hold different attachments for your denture. I highly recommend the cone beam. Keep smiling.

In brief: Can you Compromise?

Mini implants are a great service to patients who have very minimal bone, and who cannot make the financial investment for conventional implants.
However, there is a difference: mini implants are smaller and offer less attachment choices. Conventional implants are less likely to fail due to size, and can hold different attachments for your denture. I highly recommend the cone beam. Keep smiling.
Dr. Kevin Owoc
Dr. Kevin Owoc
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In brief: Mini

Mini implants will work although may not last as long.
You will need at least 4 mini implants to support a lower denture. I would also advise if you are having implants placed, 4 conventional implants on the lower will give you much more stability. When only 2 are placed there can be an anterior /posterior rock or stress movement. In the event of implant failure, if you only have 2 implants supporting the denture then the entire case fails. If you have 4 implants and 1 fails the other 3 will support the denture in normal function while the failed implant is replaced and heals. A cone beam is nice to have but in the area of the chin may not be necessary. Placing upper implants when negotiating the sinus a cone beam would be advisable. Good luck (formally from flushing).

In brief: Mini

Mini implants will work although may not last as long.
You will need at least 4 mini implants to support a lower denture. I would also advise if you are having implants placed, 4 conventional implants on the lower will give you much more stability. When only 2 are placed there can be an anterior /posterior rock or stress movement. In the event of implant failure, if you only have 2 implants supporting the denture then the entire case fails. If you have 4 implants and 1 fails the other 3 will support the denture in normal function while the failed implant is replaced and heals. A cone beam is nice to have but in the area of the chin may not be necessary. Placing upper implants when negotiating the sinus a cone beam would be advisable. Good luck (formally from flushing).
Dr. Mitchel Blumenthal
Dr. Mitchel Blumenthal
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Dr. John Thaler
Dentistry - Prosthodontics

In brief: What are they for ?

If you are using them to support / retain a lower denture, then regular are best, but mini's are better than none at all.
If they are to replace teeth , then mini's are not recommended. At your age, regular are best -- research goes back 40+ years with tremendous sucess (90 + %), and will serve you best. Mini's ok for lower denture improvement, but not enough longer term research for other use.

In brief: What are they for ?

If you are using them to support / retain a lower denture, then regular are best, but mini's are better than none at all.
If they are to replace teeth , then mini's are not recommended. At your age, regular are best -- research goes back 40+ years with tremendous sucess (90 + %), and will serve you best. Mini's ok for lower denture improvement, but not enough longer term research for other use.
Dr. John Thaler
Dr. John Thaler
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Dr. Alan Zweig
Dentistry

In brief: It

It seems that your dentist is offering to help you replace teeth with the latest technology available.
Mini-implants are ok in certain limited situations, and the suitability of them in your mouth depends on many factors. I dont think that they would actually be any more cost-effective than other implants. Doing a cone beam scan is the best way to determine the amount, composition and location of the bone in the areas where the implants are needed. I think your dentist is trying to get the most information about your mouth that he can. This is the best way to eliminate surprises, and to reduce the chances of a bad result. Implants are an excellent way to replace missing teeth. However, there are no shortcuts. You must allow your doctor to plan this properly and to use the correct implants. If that is requires either too much time, or money then you should consider other less sophisticated ways of replacing your missing teeth.

In brief: It

It seems that your dentist is offering to help you replace teeth with the latest technology available.
Mini-implants are ok in certain limited situations, and the suitability of them in your mouth depends on many factors. I dont think that they would actually be any more cost-effective than other implants. Doing a cone beam scan is the best way to determine the amount, composition and location of the bone in the areas where the implants are needed. I think your dentist is trying to get the most information about your mouth that he can. This is the best way to eliminate surprises, and to reduce the chances of a bad result. Implants are an excellent way to replace missing teeth. However, there are no shortcuts. You must allow your doctor to plan this properly and to use the correct implants. If that is requires either too much time, or money then you should consider other less sophisticated ways of replacing your missing teeth.
Dr. Alan Zweig
Dr. Alan Zweig
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Dr. Neil McLeod
Dentistry - Prosthodontics

In brief: Both

Both doctor zweig and doctor blumenthal have given good answers, and as i look them over i just thought going back to the question might help cement the collective answers so you can review and them make your final decision.
You are 66 years young with a full life ahead of you, and I am assuming that you have at least two teeth missing. We don’t know if you are wearing a partial or a full denture at the time. When a tooth is removed the jaw bone that formerly supported it slowly resorbs away as the body eliminates structures that are no longer used. If it is more that a year or so since a tooth was removed the ridge may have started to narrow to the point where an implant that resembles the size of a regular tooth root is too wide to be accommodated in the bone. That special 3d scan that your dentist was talking about gives him the information he needs to be absolutely sure that there is enough bone to support the implant he chooses. It also tells him how to angulate the implant so he avoids critical structures which could harm if they implant is misplaced. If the jaw bone has resorbed away and there is not enough room for a standard sized implant narrower “mini” implants can be used, and as has been mentioned if they are not subjected to undue stress they could serve you well. But i always favor a well proven treatment technique, and when it comes to implants i prefer normal sizes even if it means an extra surgical stage to add or develop new bone. In the long run it will work out to be cheaper. As my colleague stated there are no short cuts. So to answer your question, “are mini implants a good alternative to regular ones?” rarely they are a compromise. Dr. Neil mcleod dentistry that lasts - quality that counts.

In brief: Both

Both doctor zweig and doctor blumenthal have given good answers, and as i look them over i just thought going back to the question might help cement the collective answers so you can review and them make your final decision.
You are 66 years young with a full life ahead of you, and I am assuming that you have at least two teeth missing. We don’t know if you are wearing a partial or a full denture at the time. When a tooth is removed the jaw bone that formerly supported it slowly resorbs away as the body eliminates structures that are no longer used. If it is more that a year or so since a tooth was removed the ridge may have started to narrow to the point where an implant that resembles the size of a regular tooth root is too wide to be accommodated in the bone. That special 3d scan that your dentist was talking about gives him the information he needs to be absolutely sure that there is enough bone to support the implant he chooses. It also tells him how to angulate the implant so he avoids critical structures which could harm if they implant is misplaced. If the jaw bone has resorbed away and there is not enough room for a standard sized implant narrower “mini” implants can be used, and as has been mentioned if they are not subjected to undue stress they could serve you well. But i always favor a well proven treatment technique, and when it comes to implants i prefer normal sizes even if it means an extra surgical stage to add or develop new bone. In the long run it will work out to be cheaper. As my colleague stated there are no short cuts. So to answer your question, “are mini implants a good alternative to regular ones?” rarely they are a compromise. Dr. Neil mcleod dentistry that lasts - quality that counts.
Dr. Neil McLeod
Dr. Neil McLeod
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