Mini Dental Implants ~ The Permanent Solution for replacing a Missing Tooth with a Crown

A mini dental implant is titanium root that One_body_index_img is placed into your jaw to secure a porcelain crown or bridge. Mini Dental implants are the perfect option for anyone who has lost their tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, a traumatic iinjury, or a failed root canal.  Mini dental implants do less trauma than traditional bridgework, since implants do not require Dentists of grind down the adjacent teeth.  Mini Dental Implants can create a natural looking result.  If you are teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort and confidence, then consider Mini Dental Implants.  Long-term studies show great success rates for mini dental implants.


My next patient was missing one of her upper teeth.  Made her feel very self conscious when she smiled or was out in public.IMG_1753


Missing Premolar tooth and decayed premolar tooth behind it.




Before OCO

X-ray of the area of the missing premolar tooth.  A great spot for a OCO mini dental implant to replace the missing tooth with a fixed porcelain crown.






Pilot Bit

Pilot bit in place to check to see if the mini dental implant would line up in between the adjacent teeth. 






Space check


The one piece OCO Biomedical Mini Dental Implant in place ready for a regular impression for First Impressions Dental Lab to make the Porcelain Crown. 


Lyndis ing oco #12


Final pan x-ray of the OCO Mini Dental Implant that will be used as the root to anchor a crown.





Temporary Crown made chairside to fit over the OCO Mini Dental Implant.









Final PA x-ray showing the OCO immediately stabilized implant. 






Paresh B Patel DDS  Dentist Mooresville NC

Dental Implants Charlotte NC

Mini Dental Implants What would we do without them? Go around without teeth?

I guess I must be a pretty scary dude…                           . Dr patel

It seems like all the patients that need to come see the dentist wait until the very last minute to ask for help.  We really are not that bad here at Lake Norman Mini Dental Implant Center. 

My next patient had a Cone Beam 3D scan done in March of this year.  She had a failing root canal on one of her upper front teeth.  She must talk to some of my other patients because she had done the same thing as several others…..super-glued her post and crown in at least a dozen times.Images[5]  Should I just consider superglue to sell here at the office?


All kidding aside…I must say its pretty creative what patients will think up to solve their dental problems.  I know it takes a lot  of courage to come into the dental office.  Those patients who are deathly scared of us please know that we are here to help.  We will not judge.  We only offer solutions and a range of them to fit what your goals are. 

Clinical photo of the crown and post that the patient had super-glued back into place.  X-ray shows the failing post and crown. 






X00984 ICAT slice #7


On her 3D CBCT we can see the HUGE defect in the bone where the dental abscess is at the tip of the root canal tooth.

And this is from March…its now December…hopefully I could thread in a Intra Lock 2.0mm mini dental implant into the Palatal(roof of the mouth side) bone to hold a temporary crown.



I took the tooth out preserving as much of the bone as possible.  It was now time to try and get the Intra Lock Mini Dental Implant in.Defect w mini in place








The Intra Lock mini dental implant was rock stable (over 40ncm) and now we would pack the defect with some bone grafting material and a collagen membrane.  In a few months we should have good bone to work with.  My initial thoughts are that the mini is going to integrate(heal) into the bone.  If it does not we should have enough new bone to place a new mini implant.



Bone grafting material in place, mini dental implant in place and gum tissue closed up and ready for a temporary crown.











Temporary Crown made chairside over the mini dental implant.  This way the patient does not have to wear a flipper type of partial one tooth denture.





Final x-ray of the mini dental implant.  We will see how the bone fills in and what our next steps will be.  She will return after a few months to check the healing and treatment plan the final restoration. 









Mini Dental Implant Roundhouse ~ Full Arch Crown and Bridge for Fixed Teeth

My next patient was going to be a traditional implant case.   The treatment plan he wanted was to replace all his upper missing teeth with regular implants.  This would require a sinus lift on both sides where the lost teeth had allowed the sinus to drop down with no bone left under the gum tissue.

After sinus lift rt side


I did the sinus lift on the patients right side first.  When I went over to the left side there was a thin section of tooth root left.  Upon removal of that root there was enough damage to the sinus membrane that I elected to let the sinus heal and would come back at a later date to finish.




Pizzo  Flap for Sinus Lift and

                                                                Pizzotome to cut lateral window

Pack bone Done Bone packed into Sinus Cavity

Sutures being placed


Although he healed just fine….the patient elected not to do the sinus lift on the other side and asked if I could change his treatment plan to accommodate a full fixed roundhouse bridge on mini dental implants.   Of course I could…there was good bone where we did the sinus lift and I would not have to expand the bone in the anterior maxilla(front upper jaw).  This is what I believe in…minimal surgery, minimal augmentation of the bone, place what will fit and enough of them to equal the surface area of a regular size implant. 

I had the dental lab produce a wax up model of what I wanted the patient to 'test drive' in his mouth.  A IMG_8061 12 tooth bridge.  I would make this out of chairside arcylic much like a temporary crown that you wear while the dental lab is making the final porcelain crown. 









Based off the 3D Cone BeamiCAT scan I decided to place some OCO Biomedical 3.0mm mini dental implants to support the back teeth and OCO Biomedical 2.5mm mini dental implants to support the front teeth. 

Minis Micros Clinical



OCO Biomedical mini dental implants in place to support a full fixed roundhouse porcelain fused to metal bridge.  This will be like any other bridge that the patient does not remove and will brush and floss like his own teeth. 




OCO 2.5 micro



3D CT slice showing how thin the bone is in the front upper jaw.  As thin as the bone is we were able to place the OCO 2.5mm mini dental implant fully supported in the bone.



OCO 3.0 mini CT slice


3D CT slice in the area where I did the sinus lift.  You can see the new bone that has filled in from the middle of the implant to the tip.  The OCO 3.0mm mini dental implant is centered in the ridge for proper crown placement. 




Impression Minis micros

A standard full arch impression was taken.  The lab will insert the OCO mini dental implant analogs and will make the full roundhouse bridge supported by our mini dental implants.



Denture Chairside temp bridge

My patient immediately after the placement of the OCO Biomedical 2.5mm and 3.0 mini dental implants.  He left the office with a totally mini implant supported temporary bridge that was made off the diagnostic wax up.  It was made chairside with Luxatemp temporary material.





OCO mini dental implants for bridge


Final pan x-ray of the 11 OCO mini dental implants in place with the resin temporary bridge over the top.  When I get the final bridge new clinical photographs will continue the post.


Denture -Minis and Temp Bridge




Can Mini Dental Implant Crowns & Bridges Look Good and be kept clean?

I get asked this question a lot from both dentists and patients.  I think the answer is most likely yes.  Lots of variables contribute to the successful outcome of any implant and the crown or bridge that goes over the top of it.  Tissue type, bone level and sometimes how much time and funds the patient has to invest. 

But for the most part I think patients, if given all the information, can be happy with the aesthetic outcome with mini dental implants and the crown or bridge they support. 

My next patient was in for her normal 6 month cleaning appointment.  She stopped me to tell me how happy she was with her fixed crowns on her mini dental implants in her upper jaw. 

1 yr follow up 4 & 5 crowns close up arrows 

These crowns and mini dental implants have been in for 1 year now.  This case used Intra Lock mini implants.  But as I state in most of my posts any well constructed mini dental implant such as the OCO Biomedical mini or micro, IMTEC MDI, or HiOssen mini are appropriate.  Even as a dentist I think I would have a hard time figuring out which ones are regular crowns on teeth and the mini dental implant crowns. 

1 yr follow up 12 crown arrow 

This patient is able to keep her mini dental implant Crowns by First Impressions Dental Lab clean with a normal toothbrush, floss, and/or a water pick.  The two crowns are connected together and are supported by 3 mini dental implants.  The hygienist and patient both can floss between all the mini implants. 

Paresh B Patel DDS  Dentist Mooresville NC

Mini Dental Implants

OCO Biomedical Mini Dental Implant for a Molar Crown ~ 1/2 the Cost & 1/2 the pain

1/2 the time, 1/2 the cost, 1/2 to no surgery needed and less pain?  This is what my patient asked me. She said, 'Are you sure about this?'

She was reading from a poster in our office touting the benefits of mini dental implants.  I told her in most cases YES.  Well she told me….I don't really care about most cases I care about mine!

With that in mind we went to work.  Premini Yes I recognize the open margin on the molar behind the missing tooth.  The patient is aware and will address that tooth as time and $$ allow. 


X-ray of the missing lower tooth molar.  I had extracted a failing root canal tooth about 4 months ago and packed the extraction socket with some Foundation bone preservation material.  The area looked well healed and ready for some 'painless' mini dental implants.



Oco minis in molar

I gave her 1/2 a carpule (shot) of dental anesthetic and placed 2 2.2 x 10mm OCO Biomedical Micro Implants.  Less numbing than I give for a lower tooth filling. 


Oco impression caps mini implant


OCO mini dental implant impression caps in place to take a traditional impression.

Oco mini for molar




Final X-ray of OCO mini dental implants


Lab analogs oco minis


Lab model from First Impressions Dental Lab showing the mini dental implants and the soft tissue silicone. 





Oco mini dental implant crown Oco mini dental implant model profile


PFM Mini Dental Implant Crown to fit over the OCO mini implant




Although this case shows the use of a OCO Biomedical mini dental implant; it could have been done with any reputable mini (IMTEC MDI, Intra Lock MDL, HiOssen etc…)


OK…its been a few weeks and the patient is ready to get her crown. Here are the clinical photos of the mini dental implant crown over the OCO mini implants. 

Mini Implant Crown Molar















Mini Implant Crown Molar view 2 

Paresh B Patel DDS  General & Implant Dentist Mooresville NC

Mini Dental Implants


OCO Biomedical Mini Dental Implants ~ Improved Zest SaturnO-ring

Is it difficult to get 6 mini dental implant o-ball attachments to line up for an upper full denture plate? 

Upper minis


Several mini dental implants in the upper jaw with more than 5 degrees of divergence (off angles)


Is it sometimes hard for patients to line up that many snaps and figure out how to get the denture fully seated? 

Well…..sometimes yes.  As the dentist we have to put the mini dental implant where the bone is, or do another surgical procedure to make the bone ready to have all parallel mini dental implants.  To make it clear, most of my patients decline to have this additional procedure done and we work with what bone is available. 

As the patient the answer is sometimes yes as well. 


Transistor socketsTransistor and the socket it fits in.  You can imagine how difficult it becomes to line up the pins to fit into the socket if they are not all in line.  Even with one off angle you have to figure out which one goes in first to make the pin and socket fit together.  Very similar to the upper denture and 6 mini dental implants.


But hang on….now with the new Zest SaturnO-ring its a bit easier to handle off angle mini dental implants.  These new o-rings allow for up to 30 degree of correction between mini implants.  This is possible due to the housing having a Titanium Nitride race that allows the rubber o-ring to pivot inside.

Oco mini dental implant Saturno ring 

OCO Biomedical should have the Zest SaturnO-rings available to ship.   I have tried them and am sold on their ability to make snap in dentures easier for both the mini implant dentist and patient. These o-rings will fit on most mini dental implants, (IMTEC MDI, Intra Lock, Hiossen,OCO etc…)

Paresh B Patel DDS  Dental Implants Charlotte NC

Mini Dental Implants


Zest SaturnO-rings for Mini Dental Implants ~ Upgrade your Snap in Dentures

After the hundreds of mini dental implants I have placed to secure upper and lower dentures I would have thought there could be a better snap for the O-ball attachment.  Saturno rings pivot


But thanks to Paul Zuest there is one now, the SaturnO-ring.  Released in late October it offers up to 30' of angle correction.  The standard o-rings that come with most mini dental implants(Intra Lock, IMTEC MDI, OCO Biomedical) offer around 5' .

Saturno rings 30 correction






It has a TiN coated race that allows the rubberTiN race

 o-ring to rotate freely inside the metal housing. 

Wow…great engineering and a great idea… I wish I had though of that. 

Picture on right shows the race pivoted up inside the housing.


Zest offers a standard size Saturno for a 2.25mm Ball and a Micro size Saturno for a 1.8mm Ball attachment. 

Saturno rings

Saturno rings micro



 Standard on left and

Micro on right




There is also a neat little o-ring tool so when you need to replace those worn out black rings you don't damage them with a sharp dental instrument getting them in the metal housing. 

O ring tool 

I had just the case to try out these new Zest SaturnO-rings.  My patient had 6 mini dental implants (Intra Lock) placed in the upper jaw to secure in his full upper denture plate.  As much as we tired to make it easy for him to remove it was just too tight.  He struggled to get it in or out.  Some of the issue I am certain was the divergent angles of the mini dental implants.  I fitted him with one of his bag full of old dentures with a lab processed Molloplast soft liner over the 6 mini dental implants.

Molloplast liner He was comfortable with that molloplast liner and it did provide some grab on the mini dental implants but of course I wanted to give the SaturnO-rings a try. 

I reamed out his horseshoe upper denture, taking away the old standard housings. 

Upper denture reamed out 

In the mouth were fitted 6 micro housings, they were picked up inside the upper denture with some self cure pink acrylic.  They worked great!  I thought I was done.  But darn it, he still could not get that thing in and out like he wanted to a few days into it.    Poor guy was just getting older and I wanted to make him happy.  I think most of it was he just wanted to feel like he could accomplish this task for himself. 

So I reamed them out again and decided to try the idea of using the larger SaturnO-ring on the mini implants to give him some retention but  not quite as much. 

Saturno and standard

The SaturnO rings snapped over the 1.8mm ball like I expected and had less retention.  There were 3 mini implants that touched each other with the housings  so I placed 3 standard housings for those areas. 



We picked them up just like normal.  Less retention…yes.  Enough retention?  Charlie said two thumbs up.  He was able for the first time now to put them in and out….without a Mirror!  Even I was impressed.  He was smiling ear to ear. 















Thanks to some clever engineering at Zest Anchors we as have another choice to make patients lives better with mini dental implants. 

Paresh B Patel Dentist Mooresville NC

Mini Dental Implants SaturnO rings for Intra Lock IMTEC OCO Biomedical

Missing Teeth Replaced with Mini Dental Implants & Porcelain Crowns ~ A technique from the Advanced CE Seminar

This is part II of the post Mini Dental Implants to replace a missing front upper tooth.  See recent posts for the history of the case.

Missing teeth    Minis in

Its been 4 weeks or so and the all Porcelain crowns are back from First Impressions Dental Lab to fit over the ACE Secure Mini Dental Implants. 

Front crown Zirc  Front crown ridge lap desing   Lateral crown 

                               Lateral ridge lap Mini Dental Implant Crowns


A scan was taken of the mini dental implants with a iTERO digital optical scanner and Jon Younce at the lab was able to plan the case in a all digital format to make Zirconium all porcelain crowns.

Itero model ACE mini dental implant Crowns on modelAll Porcelain Ridge Lap Mini Dental Implant Crowns. 


These crowns could be made over any mini dental implant (Intra Lock, IMTEC, OCO Biomedical mini, Hiossen etc…) 

I have often been told that it is not possible to make good looking anterior(front) tooth crowns on top of mini dental implants because of the ridge lap design.  Or without creating a emergence profile below the gum its not possible. 

Crowns over mini dental implants


I think the real issue is the patients gum thickness.  If the gum is too thin you see the gray halo of the implant as it comes out of the gum.  Even if you have a traditional implant with a two piece design and a custom fabricated ceramic abutment if the gum is too thin its hard to have room for the crown. 

So I like to have patients know before we place the mini dental implants if they have thin tissue type and what can be done to make the gum thicker if aesthetics is a primary concern. 

As with anything in dentistry….almost everything is possible…..its just how much time, money and effort the patient and doctor are willing to invest. 

Paresh B Patel DDS  Dentist Mooresville NC   Before after mini dental implants porcelain crowns

OCO Mini Dental Implants




No Bone for Dental Implants ~ Would Mini Dental Implants work?

One of the main reasons patients don't move forward with dental implant treatment is lack of bone.  This lack of adequate bone can be in the width or height dimensions. 

Thin ridge

Cone Beam CT scan showing a lower mandibular ridge with severe resorption in both the vertical and horizontal dimensions.  The ridge of bone is only 1.2mm wide at the top and stays that way for 9mm until you get to the wider bone near the chin. 

In this case we had no choice but to flatten the ridge to make room for the smallest mini dental implant we have (1.8mm wide).  Once that was done there was only 11mm of height left to place the mini implant in the lower jaw. 

Lower ridge 
The mouth has a very specialized kind of bone, its called alveolar bone.  This alveolar bone is not found anywhere else in the body.  Its purpose is to hold the roots of your tooth the the base of the jaws.  Once teeth are lost this bone just melts away or is resorbed by the body.  If you have a loose or ill fitting denture or partial the constant rubbing and moving will cause this bone loss to accelerate.  Even in areas of one missing tooth the alveolar bone melts away.  Without a tooth root over time the bone will be lost.  The good news is that any dental implant, mini or traditional conventional will help to keep this bone from melting away any further.  Bone loss for implants

This picture shows how substantial bone loss can be from missing lower jaw tooth molars.  The ridge of bone is thin and is vertically deficient.  Options could be to do a block onlay graft of bone or to consider using mini dental implants.  One of the benefits of mini dental implants is that we can sometimes avoid this additional surgical procedure. 

Large bone defect Area where a tremendous amount of bone has been lost in the lower jaw.  A large defect that would require bone grafting to place traditional size dental implants. 

So what should you do if there is no bone left for a dental implant?  The most elegant solution is to repair the missing bone and gum to gain the height and width that was once there.  This requires the experience and high degree of surgical skill of an experienced Oral Surgeon, Periodontist or a well trained General Dentist who does this kind of surgery on a daily basis.  We refer this kind of treatment to a highly skilled dentist in our area. 

But with every procedure there are some drawbacks.  For this kind of bone grafting or repair the potential hazards are:  prolonged healing time, additional surgery, additional temporary dentures to fit over the repaired bone while it heals, potential morbidity and expense.  There could be additional pain and discomfort or injury to the nerve.  Mini Dental Implants are an alternative to consider to bone grafting or bone augmentation.  The patient not only saves on the cost of the bone grafting (anywhere from $3000 to $6000) but we can use the mini dental implant almost immediately.

Thin ridge that needs grafting

This picture shows how thin a ridge can get.  It would be very difficult to place a traditional implant here without doing a surgical bone grafting procedure. 



Mini implant placed


Here we have placed a mini dental implant without any bone augmentation procedures.




Mini implants thin bone Mini implants thin bone 2


Intra Lock Mini Dental Implants in thin bone.  Here I used a 2.0mm Intra Lock mini; however just about any mini dental implant would work….other minis I use include OCO Biomedical mini or OCO Biomedical micro, IMTEC MDI, ACE Surgical Secure Mini Prep or Hiossen.




Crowns on minis


Porcelain Crowns on the top of the mini dental implants cemented in place.




Thin bone and nerve


This x-ray shows a 2.0mm wide mini dental implant.  Notice how thin the bone is…it is at most 4mm wide.  A traditional regular implant would not fit without bone augmentation(repair) surgery. The pink shows where the nerve bundle exits out of the jaw into the gum tissue. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Mini Dental Implants ~ Do They Work?

Mini Dental Implants ~ Are they bad? Do they work? Can you unscrew them with your fingers? Do the break? Can you use a mini implant on the upper arch?  And many more……

I get lots of questions from Dentists and Patients alike on Mini Dental Implants.  The short answer is if used and placed properly Mini Dental Implants will work to solve the patients request….to have a 2nd chance for teeth.  A mini dental implant just does it a different way.  Do I think mini implants will replace traditional regular conventional implants?  No….mini dental implants offer the patient another choice.  There will always be a need for regular implants.

Do Mini Dental Implants Work?

Yes…they can replace missing teeth in the upper and lower jaws with porcelain crowns or bridges.  They can hold in upper or lower dentures with a o-ball and a snap fitted into the denture.  Mini Dental Implants have a history of working well for over 15 years.

My Dentist tells me that I should not get Mini Dental Implants; what should I do?

There is lots of confusion on this subject of mini dental implants vs. regular traditional implants.  There should not be.  They both work and they both work well.  It's more of an issue of choice for the patient.  If a patient does not choose regular traditional implants they should not be told to just go home; they should have been offered mini dental implants.  With 40 – 50 Million Americans without teeth, implant treatment should not be only for the rich.  Mini Dental Implants offer what was once not possible for most patients.  With only 3% of Americans with Dental Implants we as Dentists have so much work to do.   It would take us our entire careers to help everyone live a better life with dental implants. 

Mini Dental Implants do integrate (bond) to the bone. 

They are approved to use in the USA by the FDA for long term use anywhere in the mouth.

I can tell you that my success after placing over 1500 mini implants is the same as regular conventional dental implants.  I encourage patients who have reservations to make a consultation with a skilled Dentists (Oral Surgeon, Periodontists, or General Dentist) who places traditional implants and a Dentist who places mini dental implants.  I would ask each one to see examples of their final results and how many implants they have placed.  With that information I think patients are well equiped to make a choice that is appropriate for them. 

Mini Dental Implants are so small, will they holdup in my mouth?  I was told they would break.

Mini Dental Implants are made from titanium alloy.  This alloy is 1.6 x stronger than CP(Commercially Pure) Titanium.  Most mini dental implants are between 2.0mm and 3.0mm in size and fracture LESS because they are SOLID.  A regular conventional implant is two pieces that is held together with a screw.  If the traditional implant on average is 4.0mm wide and the screw hole in the center is 2.0mm wide then the outer wall of the implant is at most 1.0mm.  Because of the one piece design the mini dental implant will fracture less than a regular traditional implant.

Do Mini Dental Implants integrate or bond to the bone?  I was told they do not.

All the mini dental implants we use are made from the same Titanium alloy used in making the larger regular style traditional implant.  The surface coatings are the exact same, so if titanium integrates (bonds) with the bone, the same will happen with a mini dental implant.  Studies now show this to be true.

Paresh B Patel DDS  Dentist Mooresville NC

Mini Dental Implants