Traditional Implants Versus Mini Dental Implants: What are the Differences?

Traditional Implants Versus Mini Dental Implants: What are the Differences?

Just because something is small does not mean it is any less good. This truth applies to mini dental implants. Mini dental implants are considered the consummate alternative when the space is too narrow for a traditional implant to fit in. In most cases, mini dental implants are used to replace incisors or really small teeth.

In essence, mini dental implants are designed for use in specific cases. That being said, you can’t have mini dental implants just because you prefer them over their traditional counterpart.

Mini dental implants are often used in the following situations:

  • If the patient has small teeth
  • Premolar replacement
  • If the tooth is located in a space that’s narrow
  • For front teeth replacements

Traditional Dental Implants Versus Mini Dental Implants

Since they are designed for the same function, many people confuse dental implants and mini dental implants. Below are some of the key differences between the two:

  • Traditional Dental Implants

A traditional dental implant is made of two pieces. It comes with an external screw that goes into the bone. The diameter is larger than 3mm. Inside the implant, there’s a thread that’s compatible with several kinds of dentures. This multi-use feature is considered very beneficial.

  • Mini Dental Implants

Unlike the traditional dental implants, mini dental implants are a solid piece that’s screwed into the bone. The diameter is smaller than 3mm. On the top of the device, you can find a ball-shaped protrusion designed to support the dentures. The denture comes with a rubber O-ring that will slide over the ball-shaped part.

As mentioned, a mini dental implant is at least half the diameter of a traditional implant. In other words, it would take at least 2 mini dental implants to equal the support a single traditional implant can provide. While traditional implants are better able to distribute the denture’s weight, they are also not the ideal option for narrow spaces. 

Cost of Mini Dental Implants

As expected, mini dental implants cost less compared to traditional implants. On average, a mini dental implant can cost between $500 to $1, 500 while traditional implants can cost between $4, 000 to $5,000. 

Mini dental implants also cost less compared to traditional implants because of the following reasons:

  • The implant screws are more affordable – the small screws used for dental implants understandably cost less compared to the large screws used in traditional implants.
  • The procedure is more simple – the process of inserting mini dental implants is less time-consuming and invasive. In addition, no surgery is also involved. Less effort plus less time spent equals less cost.
  • No bone grafting is required – oftentimes, mini dental implants won’t require bone grafting in patients with lower jaw bone density. If this process is not involved, it can also mean a significant cut in the overall cost.

However, just because they are relatively cheaper compared to traditional implants, it does not mean they are any less effective or they are inferior in quality. If anything, mini dental implants are just ideal for specific situations. 

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