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Traditional implants are larger to meet the “gold standard” for restoring lost teeth, but not every traditional implant is suitable for everyone. The cost is high, especially in the case of having to insert many implants. In some cases, using mini-implants is a good alternative. Mini implants are smaller and cheaper than traditional implants, and the insertion process is more straightforward and less invasive.

1. What is a mini implant?

Implants are made of high-grade titanium alloy, like traditional dental implant, but with a smaller diameter. The mini implant is also called a small-diameter, narrow-body implant.

After the natural tooth is extracted, the jawbone loses its thickness due to bone resorption. The jawbone can also deteriorate with age or because of osteoporosis. If you do not have enough good health to carry out bone grafting, a mini implant is optimal for people without the bone for regular implant placement. Unlike traditional implants, the Mini Implant is shaped like a screw so that it can be inserted into the jawbone through the gum tissue. The implanting doctor does not need to flip the gum flap, which does not need to be sutured so that the healing process will be faster.

Although the mini-implant is a good solution, it also has many limitations. Mini implants do not provide the same level of stability and longevity when combined with traditional implants. Traditional implants are more significant and more stable when inserted into the jawbone. For this reason, mini implants are often used to help stabilize loose dentures or partial dentures.

When the mini implant is used to make the loose denture more stable, there must be at least four mini implants inserted in the lower jaw, while up to 10 mini implants need to be used to increase the stability of the upper jaw. Mini implants can also restore small teeth, such as lower incisors, or replace teeth in narrow positions where traditional implants would not fit because they are too large.

The diameter of the Mini implant ranges from 0.07 to 0.11 inches or from 1.8 to 2.9mm. Mini-implant lengths are 10, 13, 15, and 18 mm. This variety of lengths makes it possible for the implant doctor to choose mini implants suitable for the size and shape of the jawbone. The overall durability of the Implant is determined by its length, not its diameter.

Mini implant

2. Compare the traditional implant with the mini implant.

2.1. Size

This is the main difference between these two implant systems because the traditional implant is 4-5 mm in diameter and consists of the implant and a separate connecting post. In contrast, the implant has a diameter of less than 3 mm and is a solid block.

A mini implant is smaller, so it is ideal for replacing small teeth in locations with limited space and increasing retention for full or removable partial dentures.

2.2. Durability

Both types of implants are made of high-grade titanium alloy, and experiments have shown that the durability of implants depends on their length and not their diameter. Although the Mini Implant is narrower than a traditional implant, the size is comparable to that of a conventional implant.

Even so, some implant doctors believe that mini implants are less able to withstand chewing forces when compared to traditional implants. For this reason, traditional implants tend to be used to restore molars. Big.

2.3. Execution procedure

With a traditional implant, the implant doctor must flip the gum flap and expose the bone to insert the implant. A small hole will be drilled to place the implant. The upper gum will be sewn shut as soon as the implant has been placed in the jawbone. Then the implant will be left in the bone to wait for healing for a few months before restoring the crown. Stage 2 will expose the implant to complete the tooth above the implant.

Mini Implants can be inserted directly through the gum without flipping the gingival flap, so no gingival cutting and stitching is required. Because the implant is monolithic, there is no need for stage 2 like with a traditional implant. The implant also reduces the need for bone grafting, and the process will be faster, less invasive, and heal faster.

2.4. Expense

Because of its smaller size and the fact that it can be inserted directly during surgery, the Implant is more accessible to accept than a traditional implant.

3. Life expectancy and success rate of the mini-implant

Traditional implants have been widely used for many years and continue to be researched. A properly placed and well-maintained implant has a very high success rate and can last for decades or even a lifetime. The implant is a recent breakthrough, and several studies have been conducted on its success. However, the advantages and success rate of mini implants are increasingly widely recognized, and the benefits of mini implants must be addressed in treatment.

4. Advantages and Disadvantages of Mini Implants


  • Inserting a mini-implant is speedy, but some mini-implants are not.
  • It can be immediately loaded with new dentures. This means the implants can be inserted and a temporary denture attached within a few hours. This denture is used temporarily while the implant heals and integrates with the bone; this helps the customer speak and eat normally.
  • Mini-implant surgery is less invasive because there is no need for sutures, and the holes are smaller for the implant to be inserted into the jawbone. This process can be easier for anyone, especially those who are often anxious and fearful.
  • The smaller diameter of the implant reduces the risk of surgical complications when the implant is placed too close to the nerve or maxillary sinus. If there are any mishaps, it’s easier to correct them.
  • The healing will be faster, and the recovery time will be shorter because mini-implant surgery is minimally invasive.
  • Mini implants can be used in areas where the jawbone is thinner and traditional implants would not be suitable without a bone graft.
  • A mini implant costs less than a traditional implant and is considered an excellent solution to support stability for loose dentures.


  • Mini implants require a considerable amount of bone because they are usually long. This means that the mini implant cannot be used where there is insufficient vertical bone or bone loss.
  • A certain number of mini implants are required to increase the stability of the denture. The minimum number of mini implants needed for the lower jaw is 4, while only two are required for traditional implants.
  • Mini implants are not the best solution for the upper jaw because the bone in the upper jaw is usually thin. We must use more implants, up to 10 or 12 mini implants, to stabilize the upper denture.
  • The mini implant is a block, so if the implant head is worn out after many years of use, the entire implant will have to be replaced. Traditional implants have two parts, so the connecting post, or abutment, can be easily replaced.
  • Mini implants are less widely studied than traditional implants, so little data is available on their longevity and success rate.

5. Mini Implant Insertion Procedure

The mini-implant insertion is done within 1-2 hours under local anesthesia.
The micro-implant procedure is entirely different from the traditional implant procedure. Inserting a mini-implant and attaching removable dentures during the day is possible. Before performing the procedure, the implant doctor will use imaging to determine the ideal location for the implant. These images will also be used during surgery so the surgeon can make a mark on the gums before drilling begins.

Once located, the doctor will drill a small hole through the gum with a guide drill. A mini implant will be placed into the jawbone through this hole and tightened using special tools. The round tip of the implant will protrude from the gum. During this phase, the customer’s removable denture will be imprinted, recording the position of the implant, and all information will be sent to the lab for completion. Once completed, the denture will fit into the implant head using an “O-ring.” This fit will make the denture more stable.

6. Mini Implant Success Rate

Mini implants have almost the same lifespan as traditional implants, but that depends on the doctor’s implant technique and proper care after the insertion process is complete.
Any implant requires good daily oral care, regular visits, and professional preventive treatment.

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Managed by Doctor TRAN NGOC TU, Ph.D. in Dentistry, Tokyo University, Japan

Monday – Saturday:

8h – 12h; 14h – 20h
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  • Business registration certificate number: 0309935880, issued by the Department of Planning and Investment of Ho Chi Minh City on May 10, 2022.

  • Medical examination and treatment practice certificate number: 001272/HCM-CCHN, issued by the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City on July 20, 2012.

  • Medical examination and treatment operation license number: 01839/SYT-GPHD, issued by the Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City on March 18, 2014.


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