3 Minimally Invasive Alternatives To Traditional Dental Implants

When you lose your teeth, by accident, or due to dental complications, you have a number of options for tooth replacement, the most reliable of which is permanent dental implants. However, standard implants involve undergoing two separate surgical procedures that result in extended healing time. During the healing time, you're left without teeth, or with a prosthesis, which can often be uncomfortable, and while traditional implants are still suitable for many patients, you now have alternatives. Here are three minimally invasive alternatives to standard dental implants to discuss with your dentist.

Immediate Load

Immediate load implants require only one surgical procedure to insert a titanium post into the jawbone. The post is then loaded with a temporary crown, denture, or bridge within three days to a week. Some immediate load implants, often called "teeth in a day," or "same day implants," are loaded the very same day. This significantly shortens healing time over standard implants, where the post is typically left to heal for several months before loading the replacement teeth. The dental implant will still take time to fuse to your bone, but, you'll go about your daily life and at around the three to six-month mark, your dentist will place your permanent teeth. Immediate load implants aren't appropriate for everyone. It's recommended for patients who have enough natural bone to fuse to the implant.


The All-On-4 treatment concept is a trademark of Nobel Biocare and is meant for patients who have lost most of their teeth. This technique utilizes four dental implants to stabilize a full arch of a top or bottom set of fixed replacement teeth. This approach avoids the need for bone grafting. Instead, the All-On-4 treatment uses available bone to place the implants securely. You'll get a set of replacement teeth the same day, which will be placed using unique abutments, the structure that supports the arch. Your gum tissue will need time to heal, and thus your dentist will prescribe a modified diet while your gums heal. At around the six-month mark, the dentist will place your permanent bridge.

Small Diameter Implants

Sometimes referred to as mini implants, small diameter implants, as the name suggests, are smaller than the typical size implants. The standard implant measures up to 5 millimeters in diameter, while small diameter implants measure less than 3 millimeters. This approach is best for patients who have a loose denture, or need to secure a top or bottom set of teeth. It takes less than two hours to secure the mini implants, making it a convenient choice. This approach provides an alternative for patients who lack enough natural bone for other approaches.