Mini Dental Implant vs Regular Implant ~ Whats the difference?

I get asked this question a lot from both Doctors and Patients.  I think a better way to look at this is to compare one or two piece dental implants.

Mini dental implants are one piece in design…the part that comes up into the gum is connected to the screw part that goes into the bone.  One piece means for the patient less expense.  But there are one piece dental implants in regular implant sizes.  OCO Biomedical has a one piece, 3.25mm + 4.0mm + 5.0mm.  Once again the same theme….one piece less expense for the patient.


OCO Biomedical ISI one piece dental implant.  Same concept as a mini dental implant with no extra piece to purchase as the abutment (part that come up out of the gum) is fixed to the body of the regular size dental implant.

So when would you use a one piece regular size implant?  I think when you have enough stability in the bone that would allow immediate loading.  Most of the time that will be in the lower jaw; but in this example we were able to do this to replace an upper missing molar.

Before oco 4.0 ISI

My patient had a missing upper left molar.

Our plan was to replace it with a regular size implant (we could have done it with two mini dental implants, but he preferred to have a traditional size solution).

Pilot bit

He had been missing that tooth for well over 7 years.  This had allow his sinus cavity to ‘drop down’ thus reducing the height of bone we had to place a dental implant.  Our plan was to do a ‘sinus tent’ and gain a bit of height by adding some bone through the small hole that was made in his gum.  Easy to do and very predictable.


OCO Biomedical ISI one piece 4.0mm implant was selected.  The bone was very dense and I was fairly certain I would get over 35ncm of torque to stabilize the implant.  If I did not then a two piece 4.0mm implant could have been placed and left to heal into the bone for the next 12 weeks.

OCO fully seated ISI 2Regular size implant in place to replace the missing upper crown.  The placement procedure is the same as when I place a mini dental implant.  Notice the lack of blood or gum that had to be cut.  A temporary crown was made and the patient will come back to have the final crown cemented.  In this case the patient needed additional time to collect the funds for his crown. So he would not return for around 8 weeks for his impression.

OCO ISI final sinus tent


The lab fabricated a Zirconia Crown to fit the OCO ISI 4.0mm dental implant.


Internal view of the Zirconia crown.


Zirconia crown in place over the OCO Biomedical ISI 4.0mm dental implant.

Final Thoughts:  In a well designed implant system placing a larger size implant is just as easy as placing a mini dental implant.  With the OCO system the only thing you change is the final drill bit.  There are no other drill sizes to work your way through.

What I like even better is the ability to now have either a one piece or two piece implant that offers the same prosthetic abutment.  If you do place a two piece OCO and put in a solid abutment you have now created a one piece OCO ISI implant.

The other thing I like about these implants is that you cement the crown to the implant body, not the abutment, so the ‘micro gap’ in internal to the implant crowns.

Paresh B Patel DDS

Dental Implants Charlotte NC

Dental Implants Hickory Lenoir Asheville NC