Mini-Implants. vs. Standard Implants

7 mini implants in upper jaw

The underside of the denture

Mini-implant supported teeth

The above patient came to me for a consultation after he had received 8 mini-implants (one had failed and been removed) from a local dentist to stabilize an upper denture. The patient was told his new teeth would not be removable and he wouldn??t have a denture anymore. He was told it was all “permanent.” He was not aware that this type of implant was most commonly used for temporary stabilization of dentures since it is not FDA approved for permanent use.

The patient was tired of his loose denture teeth even though he had “implants.” He was worried about losing more mini-implants. He hated his denture teeth and couldn’t eat what he thought he would be able to. He didn??t like having to change out those “O-rings” every couple of months. Although he thought he would save money by having this mini-implant solution, the huge cost to his quality of life was expensive given all the mini-implant failures.

After 3D imaging it was determined the patient would be a good candidate for the “All-on-4” solution from Nobel Biocare. Being able to place 4 standard root form implants without any grafting of bone made the solution simple for the patient. Using Nobel Biocare’s zygomatic implants in the back of the jaw allowed for more stability of his teeth and greater predictability of long term success. His new teeth were screwed in the very day the implants were placed and can only be removed by a dentist with the proper instrumentation. He is very happy that he can finally eat, speak, and live with confidence.

At Shelbourne & Associates, we do place mini-implants for temporary stabilization of a denture. Although temporary implants are typically a less expensive option than permanent implants, they may not last as long as you expect them to. A compromise in choice can be catastrophic to your quality of life. If patients want permanent support for a denture or teeth that are not removable, then we use Nobel dental implants. These are “root form” implants that mimic natural teeth much better than a mini-implant. This allows for better stabilization and more permanent teeth.

At Shelbourne & Associates we are able to provide you with all your dental implant options and a clear understanding of what to expect from each one. When it comes to choices that affect your quality of life, we will never recommend you compromise.

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