The discerning dental patient should approach mini-implants with caution. Though there are real indications for the use of mini-implants (see below), it is our opinion, and the opinion of every leading organization in the field of implantology, that mini-implants should not be routinely considered as a first treatment alternative. Even with recent advances in mini-implant surfaces that promote better integration to bone, there are only a handful of poorly controlled studies, and not a single long-term study, that examines the success rate or predictability of mini-implants. This should be compared with the nearly forty years of extensive data, and tens of thousands of studies, which have proven the long-term success of conventional dental implants. Having said this, and as long as the patient and clinician understand and discuss the limitations of mini-implants, there are a limited number of scenarios where mini-implants should be considered. These include:
- Cases of a severely atrophic (resorbed) mandible, where bone grafting is not indicated, and implants are needed to aid in retention of a lower denture
- Cases where significant medical issues preclude surgical access for the placement of conventional implants
- Cases where there isn’t sufficient space to place a conventional dental implant and orthodontic opening of the space is not possible/indicated
The doctors at the Florida Institute for Periodontics and Dental Implants are fully trained in the placement of mini-implants and available to discuss this as an option in the appropriate cases. Please feel free to contact us with questions regarding mini-implants.