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Dentistry/Mini implants to replace missing molars.

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Question
Dear Dr. Kong,

Thank you in advance for answering my question!

I am 30 years old and I lost one of my large rear molars due to an accident. I asked my dentist about the possibility of an implant and he has informed that he could use a mini implant(s) to replace the missing molar as this is a new and exciting technology which costs half the price of traditional implants and is less invasive.

I was wondering what your thoughts are on his recommendation as some dental websites suggest mini implants have a high failure rate for molars and are only appropriate for incisors while other dentists say they have abandoned the 'old' implants in favor of only using mini implants. I feel so confused and uncertain.

Thank you!

Answer
Hi Sarah,

I am not a fan of mini-implants especially for replacement of 'back' teeth if I can place a 'traditional' dental implant.  I feel mini-implants are too thin to adequately handle the higher masticating force a molar would require.  This is in addition to the technical difficulty in fabricating a proper hygienic molar tooth on top of a very narrow platform of a mini-implant.
The only reason I would place a mini-implant for posterior teeth is if that's the only option left after exhausting all other options b/c having teeth is better than having none.  

You may want to seek out a local specialist in placement of dental implants (Periodontist or Oral Surgeon) for a second opinion.

-Dr.Kong
by John Kong

Dentistry

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John Kong, DDS, www.betterlivingdentistry.com

Expertise

I am a board-certified periodontist and an expert on dental implants. I am currently in private practice at Better Living through Dentistry. I can answer questions related to the treatment of periodontitis (gum disease), dental implants, sinus lifts, bone grafts and gum grafts.

Experience

My practice focuses in the field of periodontics and dental implants. I enjoy working with dental specialists to coordinate full mouth reconstructions and cosmetic dentistry.

Organizations
American Academy of Periodontology, American Board of Periodontics, American Dental Association, New York State Dental Association, Queens County Dental Association

Education/Credentials
BA - Wesleyan University, DDS - SUNY Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine, Certificate in Periodontics - University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

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