MINI DENTAL IMPLANTS: ARE THEY OK?
We have used Mini Dental Implants (implant diameter less than or equal to 2.9 mm) over the years for a variety of applications. The most common use has been to use them for orthodontic anchorage – that is where the implant is placed and used to secure braces in order to move teeth. The implant is essentially immovable and the orthodontist can anchor their braces to this and move the teeth relative to the implant. I have also used Mini Dental Implants (MDI’s) as temporary support for dental applications such as to attach a denture during a period of healing such as after grafting. I have found them to work consistently well in these types of applications. (Compendium of Dentistry April 2019, Vol. 40, #4, pg. 238-241)
Where we have seen problems – and this was apparent to us from the start – is when the expectation is that this would be a long-term or permanent functioning device. Mini Implants fail at this.
I see advertisements for them all over and they are being done for “low cost implant care”. We get to see many of these cases after several years when they are failing. What we end up with is discouraged, unhappy patients trying to find the “fly by night” practitioner who provided this care and it often costs much more to recover this situation than it would have to do it the correct way in the beginning. In spite of this, I see patients continually going to that well expecting that they are going to get pure water at a cheap price. There is no substitute for excellence. And excellence does cost something.
I have seen very few Mini Implant cases that I would expect to be long-term. If you are going to pursue that care, I would recommend that you find a doctor who has been around and who will be around to stand by his or her work. I would advise a minimum of 2.5 mm diameter and a roughened surface implant. Make sure you get several opinions.
My basic recommendation is to not get Mini Implants in the first place unless you are in a particularly unique situation where the implant will not be called on to carry much load.
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