02 Jun What are Mini Implants?
Mini implants or Small diameter implants have been in use since the mid 70’s. The pioneer in its use was Dr Victor Sendax (USA).
These mini implants are so called due to their reduced diameter, which vary from 1.8 to 3 mm depending on the manufacturer. A traditional implant normally measures more than 3 mm in diameter.
The length also varies, from 10 to 18 mm and this also varies depending on the manufacturer.
These implants were initially used to increase the stability of dentures. However its use has largely spread to the areas of fixed restorations (crowns and bridges).
We know that implants need to be inserted in bone to be stable and provide a good prognosis. In lieu of a reduced diameter, the mini implants need less amount of bone for their insertion. This is quite important since a large number of implants need to be placed in areas that have been edentulous for a considerable length of time and suffered from an advanced process of bone resorption.
Another feature is the insertion protocol. Generally speaking, these implants do not need a surgical approach (meaning a flap or “gum elevation”). The process involves the perforation of the gum with an initial drill, conservative bone preparation and insertion of the implant.
Likewise, we don’t need to prepare the bone in the entire length of the implant. Usually we prepare only a third of the implant length, then we insert the implant that has a self-tapping feature, which allows us to decrease the amount of bone drilled and removed, and to compact the bone so we can achieve faster stability and bone integration.
Amongst the advantages with this insertion protocol, is the fact that these implants are immediately in very close contact with the bone receptor, not needing much bone preparation (bone drilling). In addition to that, the trauma and invasiveness of the whole process is kept to its minimum; which is an advantage in patients with numerous medical problems and taking multiple medications.
Nowadays, the mini implants are used to provide stability and retention to removable dentures and also to replace teeth with fixed restorations.
Since the process of insertion and restoration of mini implants are not as complicated as the ones involving traditional implants, the cost is also more affordable. In general the cost is about 20-35% less that the process involving traditional implants.
In our website, we show you some cases treated with mini implants.
We hope all of this contributes to your information. If you have any question or require further information, please let us know
Dr. Roger Gomez