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Mini Dental Implants – Myths Dispelled

Mini implants are just smaller versions of regular sized implants.

They are marketed as being painless and simple which is no different than a regular dental implant.  Unfortunately, they have been marketed to a certain subset of dentists who don’t want to do surgery or have any experience in surgery.  Because of this they are marketed as being placed without an incision.  This marketing of only the benefits has completely overshadowed some of the risks that are rarely discussed.

Placing implants without an incision is MUCH more dangerous then placing implants with an incision.  The reason is because the dentist is working blindly and can easily perforate the bone, which could even lead to a life-threatening situation. 

I have been placing implants for 20 years, many of which had no incision.  But these mini dental implants are for very experienced implant surgeons in very ideal situations.  The ideal situation is only found about 5% of the time.  There is no way I would place mini implants in my own family.

The other thing that is rarely mentioned to patients is that mini implants bend!

Yes, they are bendable.  Similar to a credit card that can be bent over and over, they eventually fracture or become loose necessitating their removal.  I have removed many mini implants from unhappy patients who thought this was permanent.

Mini implants are mostly marketed to patients that have no lower teeth.  Although they may be slightly less expensive in the short term, they have long-term problems.  Their small diameter just makes them weak.

The best use for these implants is to use them as “temporary implants” while waiting for regular healing to take place.

A mini dental implant is defined as being smaller than 3.0 mm in diameter.

The bottom line…mini implants equal major risks.


22 thoughts on “Mini Dental Implants – Myths Dispelled

  1. I have been wearing dentures for 50 years, have had issues with stability from day one with the lowers (insufficient ridge). ?With that noted the lower jaw bone has receded a fair amount. Original procedure was to install 4 maxi implants in loser jaw forward of the nerve channels. Oral surgeon (many years of experience in this work) Is now advocating 3 minis one at each eye tooth zone and one centered front. Not enough jaw for maxi implants. I am nervous about three only as the small implants have a very small value sheer strength. I would like to be able to eat a meal with friends and or company comfortably in less than 20 minutes. I require a sharp knife to handle hard to chew tough foods. Uppers work just fine. About to move forward your comments please

  2. Dr. Amin,
    I went in for 4 mini implants, and my dentist ended up pocking 10 different spots because he could not make the mini implants stick. Part of my chin has been numb for 7 weeks, the dentist already removed two mini implants because they became very loose. Now I have 4 left and one of them is solid but the flesh around it is hurts when I put the denture in (and hurts more when I chew). The dentist added more white spongy stuff in the denture, but it is not helping much. I want all 4 mini implants removed, but my dentist told me that it would be very painful to remove them because they have been there 7 weeks and they have completely fused with the bone. Is it true that it would be too painful to remove them? I really want them out and go back to regular denture where I use padding and glue. The work of this dentist is very bad and my denture is now really bad because he made so many changes especially shaving of the teeth to the base. Please give me you thoughts on how easy it is to remove min implants who have been in place for 7 weeks?
    Thank you Doctor,

    1. Very easy to remove.

      Please have 4 or more regular implants placed. Mini is not good. You have room…trust me. I have never had a patient that could not fit regular implants with a FIXED , non removable bridge

  3. What are the most common questions to ask my dentist when have mini implants done? I will be having this full bottom procedure done in a month or so.

  4. Its 1 year later. Does your opinions about mini dental implants still hold? If you can please take a look at this site which promotes mini dental implants. It mentions about this MDL (Mini Drive Lock) dental implants which makes it compelling to the average layman. Besides the credentials of the author. If your view still stands then can that site be classified as capable of misleading patients? Thanks.

  5. I had a bad dentist that was installing mini implants and broke one off at the top, and left the second implant too high over the gum to properly let the denture down for a correct bite. He refused, and still refuses to remove the implants. What is the normal cost to remove these implants by another dentist? I have no insurance, and this latest dentist really took advantage of a senior citizen. Who should I turn to, to report this behavior so others won’t have to go through like torture? I live in Florida.

    1. Lower ones are a bit more difficult to remove than an upper one. The dentist that placed them may or may not have the skill to remove it.
      Cost is about the same as removing a more complicated tooth.
      I would suggest you find a more experienced dentist and consider having full size, normal implants.
      Good luck!!

  6. I just had 10 mini dental implants 4 in the lower and 6 in the upper with an over denture. Now i want them all removed . Is this possible?

      1. my upper implant denture is to loose, and i just had that put in 1 week ago. Can the upper denture be fixed? Because if not then I want all the implant taken out.

        1. It depends. Mini dental implants are not very good. They don’t hold dentures very well either. For some, they add a bit of support, but they are just too small and weak.

          You may be able to have the the o ring ball changed on all of them to one the grabs better. Don’t give up just yet. It is too early. See your dentist for some adjustments.

          I assume you have had dentures for a long time and then got implants. Right?

          1. I have had 4 sets of full dentures made by 4 different dentist. My problem has allways been the upper denture falling of the right upper ridge,and never was able to wear any of them. So now I have 6 implants with an overdenture that moves around to much.

          2. an overdenture is likely not going to work for you. An overdenture that falls out is very strange though. They usually hold very well.

            I would suggest you have a fixed full upper Prettau dental implant bridge made. This is a nonremovable bridge that you do not have to worry about anymore.. They cannot be made on mini dental implants

            Prettau Dental Implant Full Mouth Bridge

  7. I would not recommend this for anyone.
    Why have 10 –15 mini dental implants that are weak, than 8 standard diameter dental implants?
    Also a full arch zirconia bridge is still in the experimental phase in my honest opinion.
    There is very little study to support these concepts.
    I think you may be asking for long-term complications or even total failure.
    Dr. Amin

  8. Dr. Amin,
    Hi. This is Debi again from Houston. I was wondering what your opinion of an all zirconia implant supported(w/mini implants 10-15 per arch) fixed bridge with some type of glaze for the teeth coloring would be. I had a dentist give me that option and his price seems too good to be true. He basically does minis all the time.
    Thanks, Debi

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Dr. Ramsey Amin has extensive experience in surgical and restorative implant dentistry. As one of only less than 400 Diplomates of the American Board of Oral Implantology/ Implant Dentistry (ABOI/ID) he is considered an expert, and board-certified in dental implants. He is a former instructor at the UCLA School of Dentistry.