Mini Implants

Mini-Implants are titanium implants with one notable exception…they are smaller in diameter. Whereas a standard sized implant is 4-6mm wide, a mini-implant is only 2-3mm wide. Mini implants are generally used for supporting dentures in the ball attachment configuration.

There are 3 main indications for mini-implants:

  1. Inadequate bone
  2. Cost
  3. Temporary implant support

Inadequate Bone

Mini Implants - 1One of the central premises of implant dentistry is “no bone, no implant” meaning if you do not have adequate bone you cannot place a dental implant. Patients who have had full dentures for a long period of time usually exhibit extensive bone loss.

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When this occurs there is oftentimes inadequate bone for placement of implants to secure a denture. Mini-implants can be slipped into more narrow ridges of bone. They are then attached to mating O-ring attachments in the denture.


Mini Implants - 4Full size implants are always the best long-term treatment of choice for an implant supported denture. But the cost of doing full sized implants may not be feasible for everyone. For that reason, we offer mini-implants. There is a flat case fee for the mini-implants, no matter how many we are able to place. We will always place as many as we can to gain maximum stabilization of the denture. This is a good treatment option when conventional sized implants are not possible due to finances.

Temporary implant support

One of the primary indications for Mini-implants is for temporary denture support while the full size implants are healing and ready to be restored. The full size implants are placed and Mini-implants are placed between them. The Mini-implants will support the denture while the full size implants heal. After appropriate healing (usually 3 months) the Mini-implants are removed (this does not hurt) and the denture attaches to the full size implants.

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Mini Implants - 7 Mini Implants - 6

Because of their smaller size, there are some limitations of Mini-implants. They are indicated only in the lower arch. That is because the poor quality of bone in the upper arch does not readily integrate with the smaller diameter implants. Also, due to size, there in increased risk of metal fatigue, and it is not inconceivable that one or more Mini-implants may fracture or fail.

Mini-implants are an alternative to select patients but, due to limitations, should not be seen as a replacement to full size implants.


Robert A.
Jun 29, 2014


Dr. Engen and staff were excellent. Very efficient and told me exactly what to expect.

Lyle B. (Periodontal patient)
Jun 29, 2014


State of the art care! I like the “get it right” attitude. After eight years I have not had one negative experience.