What is the Difference Between Mini Implant and Regular Implants? What Would Make a Patient Ineligible for a Partial or Pontiac?

Went to Cancun to get 6 old veneers replaced. The "cosmetic dentist" advised it would be better if we do 8 veneers & replace 1 crown. Instead of veneers he mistakenly drilled 10 of my teeth for crowns with devastating results. Procedures I have had to fix the mess: remove inbedded particles, laser gum surgery, gum replacement, 3 root canals, crown lengthening & replacement of all crowns with porcelain ones. 2 of my right upper back teeth couldn't be saved. What are my options for that space?

Doctor Answers 2

Size matters with implants

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Mini implants are those that are 3 mm wide or less, usually solid.  Regular implants are 3.5 mm and bigger.  Size will vary by brand, as some are 4.3 mm or others are 4.5, etc.  Common sizes are 3.5 mm, 4.3 mm, 4.7 mm, 6 mm and then there are various LENGTHS to work with.  Short implants are less predictable.

The key factor with implants is adequate bone to place them.  It seems obvious that a 5 mm implant can't be placed if the volume of bone is only 3.5 mm.  Keep in mind that we need at LEAST 1 mm of bone all the way around the implant.

Regular implants are hollow, allowing other things to be screwed in and attached to them.  While some people use mini implants "off label" and try to attach crowns or bridges to them, they are not approved for such.  The rule of thumb is minis are for stabilizing dentures or temporary restorations, regular implants are for all the other options.

Eligibility comes down to bone volume.  Some cases can be grafted, so CURRENTLY one may not be a candidate, but after a graft they may be.  Grafts can also be done at the time of implant placement if all factors are correct.  An experienced implant dentist can help determine candidacy.

Implants and Bridges

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 Hi JM the Survivor....I am so very sorry to hear what you have been going through. There are two reasons and two kinds of dental implants. There is the implant that is used to replace a missing tooth and becomes a permanent tooth. Then there is a mini implant which is used to stablize a denture in your mouth, and keep it in place. They are two differnet things and used for two different purposes. You do not need mini implants but an two implants to replaced two back teeth that could not be saved. The alternative method, would be the use of a bridge which you could easily do since you have other teeth to attach the bridge. I think with the amount of time and money you have already spent, I would go for two implants.  They will last the longest. Just make sure you see and periodontist or oral surgeon and see if your gums and bone are strong and healthy enough to sustain an implant and that you would be a good candidate!  Good luck!

George Koutsoukos, DDS
Valencia Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.