Traditional Implants and Mini Dental Implants: What Are the Differences?

Sep 01, 2020

When you lose your teeth to injuries or severe decay, your dentist may recommend dental implants. There are different types: standard and mini implants. While mini implants are smaller in size, traditional/standard implants are more extensive and offer a long-term solution.

You need to have sufficient jawbone tissue to qualify for these implants. The tissues offer support, so patients suffering from jawbone atrophy may not be suitable candidates for standard implants without preliminary treatment.

Mini dental implants, on the other hand, are a reliable alternative to traditional implants. Smaller in size, they do not need as much tissue or preliminary treatment.

Both regular and mini dental implants serve one goal–replacing missing teeth. Depending on the severity and complexity of the problem, both options are capable of stabilizing crowns, bridges, and dentures.

Why Should You Choose Mini Implants?

There are several reasons to choose dental implants. However, several disparities exist:


When compared to traditional posts, minis are significantly tinier in diameter. Whereas the diameter of a standard post lies around 3.5mm to 6mm, that of a mini dental implant is roughly 2mm to 3.5mm.

Owing to their compact size, less bone is needed for support. It is, however, important to note that the smaller posts may be less stable compared to the larger ones. As a result, it is common for mini implants to cause implant failure.


Regular implants consist of an abutment and post. The role of the abutment is to act as a connection between the implant and restoration. Mini implants are one-piece screws with a post and an end rising above the gum line.


To be an eligible candidate for regular implants, you need to have a sturdy jawbone and enough space for the implants to fit. Jawbone atrophy may weaken your treatment or cause it to fail altogether.

In situations where you have suffered bone degeneration after you have lost your teeth, you may need to undergo implant treatment to restore your jaw’s original state. Also, if bone recession has impacted on the height of the sinus floor, you may require a sinus lift.

Compared to their traditional counterparts, minis require little jawbone tissue for anchorage. This way, patients whose jawbones are receding may still qualify for mini implants even without undergoing preparatory procedures.

It should, however, be noted that as much as they are convenient, minis are weaker and may not be suitable for patients struggling with bruxism. Bruxism exerts a lot of pressure on your teeth, weakening them.


With mini implants, you only need one office visit and no sutures. For traditional implants, however, you need a minimum of two procedures. The first surgical procedure is usually extensive compared to that of minis, as the dentist has to form a large hole to place implant posts. The second one is minor, and during this, your dentist uncovers the post and attaches the abutment.


In case you have to undergo any preparation procedures such as sinus lifts or bone grafts, the implants can only be fixed after about nine months when your jaw has completely healed. You will then undergo surgery to place the traditional implant and wait for the implants to integrate with the surrounding tissues before receiving restoration.

Because preliminary procedures are unnecessary with minis, there is a significant reduction in the treatment timeline. In most cases, patients can receive these implants on the same day of the treatment. With these same-day restorations, you do not have to keep making the much-dreaded visits to the dentist.


Usually, mini implants are cheaper compared to traditional posts, given their small size and lesser material. You should, however, remember that more mini implants may be needed to support more extensive restorations. Because of this, you should consider the nature of the treatment, dentist’s experience, and materials as you calculate the cost.

Finding the Right Dentist Near you

Our dentists at TLC Dental Care are committed to ensuring not only your oral health but also your general health. On your first visit, Dr. Terrie Cribbs will discuss the different types of dental implants with you and highlight the major difference between them. Our dentist in Knoxville, TN, may also give you reasons to choose mini-implants before selecting a treatment plan that best suits you. Call us today and book an appointment.

865-247-5570 Request Appointment