Mini Dental Implants
At Buffalo Dental Implant, we are regularly asked why we do not place mini dental implants. As with any implant system, including off brand standard dental implants, we will not compromise the statistical success rate to save on costs. Anyone getting dental implants should know what type of implant they’re getting, along with the success rate of that implant system.
The reason we offer free and private consultations with our surgeon is so that you learn all of your options and can make an educated decision.
Unfortunately, there is a great deal of false advertising being done about Mini Dental Implants these days. Make NO MISTAKE about it, Mini dental implants have a useful, but very limited application and should be the LAST RESORT when a standard size implant cannot be used. When using any medical or dental device, there should be large amounts of data to support its use. When it comes to Mini Dental Implants, there is only a scarce amount of scientific literature to support their use. In fact the studies that are available are not well controlled studies and the data is questionable at best. There are however thousands upon thousands of studies supporting the use of standard dental implants. The success rate of standard dental implants is BY FAR superior to that of mini dental implants and is well documented in the literature. The two largest published studies on mini dental implants were done by (RA Bulard and JB Vance) and (TE Shatkin and CA Petrotto). Neither study is double blind and the data is highly questionable. Bulard and Vance showed a pooled success rate of 91.2%, while Shatkin and Petrotto showed a pooled success rate of 92.1%. If you weight average these studies, the overall success rate of mini dental implants is approximately 91.9%. This success rate may sound reasonable; BUT, if we look at the pooled information another way, we can see that that the FAILURE RATE of mini dental implants are approximately 1 out of 12.5. Compare that to a failure rate of standard dental implants which is 1 in 100. There really is no comparison. These success rates also varied depending on the area of the mouth the implants were placed. In Fact, when just looking at the maxillary arch alone, Shatkin and Petrotto showed a failure rate of up to 14.8%. Do the math, that equals a 1 out of 7 failure rate.
There is an excellent article by Dr. Greg Kammeyer that goes into depth and gives 10 reasons why mini dental implants fail so often. You can click on the following link to read it for yourself;
10 Reasons Why Mini Dental Implants Fail So Often
This article does a beautiful job of explaining things even if you have NO dental knowledge as to the major differences between mini dental implants and standard dental implants.
Did you know it only takes a two day course for any general dentist to start placing mini dental implants?
There is a vast difference between a general dentist that takes a two day course to be able to place Mini Dental Implants and a Certified Surgical Specialist that attends years of supervised Surgical Residency placing Standard Dental Implants. People can often be misled by something that has “FDA” approval. You should be aware that FDA approval is only a permit to use a medical device or substance. There are MANY things that have been FDA approved that were later found to cause major problems over time and then were pulled from existence because of the harm that they have caused. FDA approval has nothing to do with success rate.
There are general dentists that advertise and mislead the population with scare tactics such as; telling people that “traditional or conventional implants” require excessive surgery, bone grafting, and healing times from six months to a year. They also talk about the need for nerve transposition!?! All of these things are only rarely needed, if at all. The amount of pain associated with the placement of the standard implant is no different than that of a mini dental implant. Many times standard dental implants can be placed without surgical incisions! We even hear advertising where dentists will claim that mini dental implants have results that are “as good or better than conventional implants.” THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE. Sadly, this advertising is presented in a way that makes standard dental implants appear as if they are old fashioned or outdated, when the truth is that a standard dental implant is the standard of care, not a mini dental implant. And, if any dentist quotes a success rate of higher than 92.6% or better for mini dental implants, they are misrepresenting the data and are FLAT OUT LYING. Below is a link to the two studies referenced above done on mini dental implants. Please, read them for yourself so you can know the truth about minis.
Bullard & Vance Data Shatkin & Petrotto Study
Before you decide if any type of implant is right for you, you should gather ALL the information you can about what kind of implant is being used and why! Mini implants, as with any type of implant, have very specific applications. There is no such thing as a “one size fits all”. Just ask yourself why a single mini dental implant cannot support a molar tooth by itself. It takes 2-3 mini implants just to replace one molar! So much for the cost of dental implants being more. Each case is different, and a thorough evaluation is necessary to determine which type of implant will provide the best outcome for your situation.
If you know anyone that is planning on having mini implants placed, please do them a favor and refer them to this page to learn more.