dentistry Dominic Thorncroft

Disadvantages Of Mini Dental Implants

Mini dental implant usage continues to increase at a rapid rate in comparison to traditional or more conventional implants.

They are less complex, less surgery is required and the costs are significantly less. Overall, fewer complications arise from mini dental implants than conventional implants however there are certain things to be aware about beforehand. These are also the implants that many general dentists use rather than specialists.

Although there are many advantages in comparison to traditional and conventional implants, it is important to realise that they can have certain disadvantages but overall, their advantages easily outweigh their drawbacks which in any case can be predicted beforehand. The main disadvantages relate to the following three situations that can occur.

Disadvantage 1

A disadvantage of mini implants can be difficult to replicate and to look like a proper permanent tooth in the anterior region. This arises if there is a high smile line or if there has been extensive bone resorption. By definition, a mini dental implant has a diameter of between 1.5 mm to about 2.5 mm.

As a consequence, the abutment or head of the implant will be smaller than a more conventional implant. This can make it more difficult to restore the tooth so that it is aesthetically imperceptible from the adjacent natural teeth. The difficulty lies in achieving a good emergence profile.

The laboratory who will ultimately make the permanent crown, sometimes will try to navigate the difficulty with the emergence profile by over-contouring the permanent crown. If the patient is not capable of cleaning underneath the crown, peri-implantitis may occur as a result although these conditions seem to occur far less frequently than with conventional implants.

However, if the crown margin is not in the smile- line all or it is further back in the mouth, then this is not an issue at all.

Disadvantage 2

A mini dental implant is a one piece implant in that the abutment and the thread of the implant is all in one piece. This is one of the reasons why they are so much easier to place.

Due to these implants being a one-piece system, it is sometimes necessary clinically to use a 2 piece system where the crown and the implant have a different and significant angulation. Small differences in angulation can be accomplished by adjusting the implant abutment when prepping that tooth.

Where a more significant angulation is required which cannot be achieved by prepping the abutment, in these situations, a mini implant may not be suitable. However, if this is envisaged beforehand and the patient is willing to compromise the appearance, then these implants can still be used successfully.

Disadvantage 3

Mini dental implants have by definition smaller surface areas and therefore they cannot be used in areas of high loading. They can still be used for dental bridgework but the loading has to be commensurate with the situation.

You also have to be careful as with traditional implants when treating patients who have bruxism and clenching. As long as you are sensible and adhered to the manufacturers guidelines, you are in safe territory.

Once you know the limits of many dental implants, they are extremely advantageous and have important and significant features for long-term use.

dentistry Dominic Thorncroft

Dentures Or Implants

This is a common question amongst patients and it can sometimes depend on who you go to. If you go to an implant dentist, he or she will tell you that implants are the best solution. However if you go to a dentist who specialises in dentures, he will tell you that dentures are better.

In reality, the answer lies between the two.

Implants are not suitable for all situations and likewise, dentures are not suitable for all patients either.

To make an informed choice, various bits of information need to be made available to you. This includes costs. But within this, you need to know the initial costs but also ongoing costs and long-term costs of treatments and possible complications that can occur with any treatment.

How long will the treatment take is a good question to ask. You may not want to or be able to undergo a lengthy complex treatment involving long sessions and many visits.

The chances of success also need to be weighed up appropriately. Although implants may seem a good solution for you, complications may arise and you should be aware of these and how these could be dealt with.

Your expectations with a certain treatment are important. You may need to be aware that if you are having dental implants and dentures made, they may move about and you may not become used to them very easily. On the other hand, having an implant may not have the exact aesthetic results that you expect and you could be disappointed.

Finally, when exploring the decision between implants or dentures, you need to also explore subcategories of each. For instance, dentures have evolved and different types are available as with implants as well.

Always take your time in making the correct decision and be prepared to get second and even third opinions.

dentistry Dominic Thorncroft

Bone Grafting For Dental Implants Cost

Bone Grafting

The cost for having dental bone graft implant treatment varies hugely because it depends on the following three factors.

  1. The exact type of bone grafting required. The exact type is categorised into four different areas. This depends on the source of the bone graft material. The four different types are autograft, allograft, xenograft and alloplastic graft. The autograft is considered to be the ideal and best because it comes from the patient’s own source.

There is no risk of rejection or cross infection. However, autografts are much more technique sensitive and demand a high level of skill from the surgeon. They also therefore subject the patient to another surgical operation which has complications in itself and this also means more pain and swelling afterwards.

The allograft is of human origin but not from the patient himself. It is a bone graft that is therefore sourced from another human being. Some patients just do not like the idea of having somebody else’s “body parts “inserted into their own. In any case, the protein has been denatured so there are no risks with cross infection.

The xenograft is born from a pig or cow. Many patients due to religious or moral reasons do not feel comfortable in having a bone graft from the porcine or bovine source.

The alloplastic bone graft is synthetic bone. Although it is convenient, many dentists do not feel it is as good as natural bone.

  1. The second important factor to consider is the area which requires bone grafting. It goes without saying that the larger the area that needs to be grafted, the more extensive the surgery and therefore the cost will also be increased.
  1. The final important factor is the surgeon’s own individual premium. A general dentist will cost far less than a specialised surgeon. Also, if you are going to a dentist not in the city centre and in a less expensive area, the cost will also be reflected.


However, just to give a general indication of costs, here are typical guidelines of bone graft surgery.

Having a bone graft placed at the same time a tooth is taken out, will cost in the region of £250 extra.

Having a bone graft placed at the same time an implant is put in, will cost in the region of £400-£1000 extra per implant.

For multiple implants, the cost will probably be proportionally less per implant site.

For maxillary sinus lift augmentation and block grafts, the cost will range from £1000 to £2000 thousand pounds extra.