Mini Implants vs. Standard Dental Implants: What Is the Difference?

By Greg Kammeyer, DDS, MS, DABOI/ID on April 27, 2021
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Mini Dental Implants - American Academy of Implant Dentistry

Are you missing one or more teeth and wondering what the right replacement option is for you? Have you heard of alternative options to standard implants?

I have placed dental implants since 1985 and many patients have asked me about mini dental implants and how they compare to normal-sized dental implants.

In this blog post, I will walk you through the difference between mini implants and standard dental implants and how to decide what is right for you.

What are mini dental implants?

As the name suggests, mini dental implants are the smallest implants available – about the diameter of a pencil lead. There are two main reasons mini implants would be considered for a patient:

  1. To stabilize loose dentures to prevent slipping while eating and speaking
  2. When you have significant bone loss and there is limited jawbone available

If your jawbone is not able to support dental implants, other techniques can be used to rebuild bone, restore your natural jawline and provide a sturdy foundation for implant-supported teeth.

How do they compare to standard dental implants?

Dental implants are one of the most popular options for replacing missing teeth and come in different sizes, heights and types.  While the procedure for mini dental implants is less invasive, both mini and standard implants are relatively painless to have placed.

How do you determine the right size implant?

When treating patients, I take into account their particular needs and focus on finding the option that will provide them with the optimal stability and longevity to be able to eat, speak and smile and live confidently again

While mini implants are dental implants, they behave and function somewhat differently than normal-sized dental implants. It's important for patients to understand how these options differ. This research article published in the Journal of Oral Implantology outlines these differences in more detail.

To determine the right solution for you, the best place to start is to set up an initial consultation with a dental implant expert near you so talk to you about a customized a treatment plan.


The dentist consulted for this article was: Greg Kammeyer, DDS, DABOI/ID of Solutions Dental Implants in Sun City West, AZ.

Dr. Greg Kammeyer is from Denison Iowa. He received his undergraduate BS degree from Iowa State University studying chemistry, biology, and business. He received his dental degree (DDS) from the University of Iowa. He practiced general dentistry prior to advancing his formal education in Implant Dentistry. He holds a graduate and Master's degree in Implant Dentistry from Loma Linda University. His master's research was on bone regeneration using CAT scans to study bone loss after bone regeneration procedures. Dr Kammeyer is one of 526 dentists that is Board Certified by the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry.

Find out what dentist credentials stand for and what it takes to become AAID credentialed What are those letters after the dentist’s name? Find out what they mean.

Topics: what to know about implants, health connection, Board Certified Implant Dentist, mini dental implants

About LifeSmiles

The LifeSmiles blog empowers individuals struggling with dental problems to find reliable, practical information and advice on dental implants and how to find a qualified implant expert. Our goal is to ensure that quality care and peace of mind is available to every dental implant patient.

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