Dentist - Mooresville
224 Talbert Rd.
Mooresville, NC 28117
(704) 799-0552

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What do you do when there is a small space between lower front teeth and you need a mini dental implant?  There are lots of choices out there, IMTEC MDI, Intra Lock, OCO Biomedical, HiOssen...all these companies make a nice mini dental implant. 


In this case I decided to try the Ace Surgical miniMarkMini Prep Implant.  It is 2.3mm in diameter and comes in various lengths.  The tooth in the center of the photograph was not restorable and had 360 degrees of decay. 





X ray of lower incisor that will be extracted and a Ace Surgical miniMark mini prep implant will be placed. 











Following our standard protocol of extracting teeth with periotomes or Golden Misch forceps the tooth was removed with little trauma to the gum and bone.  You will notice in subsequent pictures the lack of blood or having to cut the gum to place the mini dental implant for the final crown.








Mini Mark mini prep implant in its sterile container.




To place the mini mark implant the step drill was used to make a initial entry point to the bone.  Due to the adjacent teeth a drill extender was used to 'get around' those teeth and into the bone.  The mini mark placement kit does not include this drill extender.  Make certain you have one on hand or consider a different implant placement kit. 





mini Mark mini prep implant is now in the extraction site and fully seated using the contrangle implant motor and drill extender. 



I could not find on the distributors web page (Henry Schein Dental Supply) the restorative components for this mini implant system. 

New Picture

Most other mini dental implant manufacturers offer:

lab analogs

impression copings

temporary crown copings and/or comfort caps

This could be a limitation for easeof use for the miniMark mini prep system.

But we are not so easily frustrated and decided to come up with our own solution...not as easy as other mini dental implants but will work.


I decided to take an ION crown form one size smaller than needed to fashion my 'own temporary coping.'









The Dr. Patel miniMark temporary coping in place.  I cemented in over the miniMark mini prep with Temp Bond Clear and teased it on and off during the setting phase.  Notice how nice we were able to get the ION crown to fit around the gum and miniMark mini prep implant.  This could have also been done with Jet Arcylic as it will bond to the ION crown forms. The key is to create a coping that will form the gum tissue during the healing phase.





A few dabs of bonding agent, some composite was placed over the ion crown and a temporary crown that could come on and off was fabricated. The patient will return in 12 weeks for a tissue and implant assessment. 



Final X-ray of the miniMark mini prep implant in the extraction site for a lower incisor crown.  There needs to be at minimum 3mm past the apex of the root that was extracted to provide stability and enough bone to secure the dental implant. 





Final Thoughts

I think the mini Mark implant will work just fine.  What the General Dentist will need to assess is what kind of cases would he/she like to do?  If doing more than just a 2.3mm implant then one must consider a different implant system.  If doing a Locator style overdenture and a small implant here and there only then the ACE Surgical miniMark system will work. 

My challenge to General Dentists is why limit yourself to this? There are several mini dental implant systems that allow you to move forward in your implant choices, styles, features and sizes.   You can get the proper training and open up a world of possibilities to improve your patients lives and make dentistry exciting everyday. 

There are several good mini dental implant courses out there; find out which one is for you and get started.  As they say:  'The hardest part of getting started is.....getting started'

Paresh B Patel DDS

Mini Dental Implant Course

Mini Dental Implants

Dental Implants Charlotte NC 

Do you have a set of loose or ill fitting dentures? Then your problems can include cosmetic issues (the first things people see is your smile) and function(how well you can eat). loose dentures

Sometimes my patients walk in what several sets of dentures they have had made over the years. The first thing all of them say is that none of them fit. I think its not that the dentures never fit it is that the dentures had nothing to hold them in place! Thus the need for dental implants to secure in dentures.


So while some people come in to get their smile back ~ others come in to be able to function (eat) again. I think with mini dental implants you can get both. The ability to smile again. The ability to eat the foods you enjoyed (salads, steaks, fresh vegetables). Your diet will improve as you no longer have to swallow chunks of food.

fresh veggies

 Your self esteem will be regained as you now don't have to wonder what can I eat at the party or family outing. You now don't have to wonder are my dentures going to fall out at the sporting event as you cheer, or sing at church.

So consider mini dental implants to secure in your dentures. At around 1/2 the cost of traditional implants with little to no pain its a safe and effective procedure.

When you come to see us you only have to see one Doctor. We place the mini dental implant and fit your denture with the snaps in the same office. One Doctor means fewer visits and reduced costs.

Greatly increase the aesthetics of your smile with secure mini dental implant retained dentures. You will look years younger.

smile secure dentures

 The right set of mini dental implant retained dentures will also allow you to have proper function (chewing your food properly and the ability to speak correctly).

side view secure snap in dentures

This case was done with MiniMark Implants. 2 mini dental implants in the front and 2 traditional size implants in the back. All of the MiniMark implants have Zest Locator attachments that allow the denture to 'snap' into the mouth. Once that is done and the implants heal the denture can be converted into a horseshoe shape for even more comfort.

mini mark dental implants

As a General Dentist I am pleased with the Zest Locator but I am extremely dissapointed in the price point of the MiniMark Implant. It averages about 3 to 4 times the cost of a comparable mini dental implant. 3M IMTEC, Intra Lock, OCO Biomedical all make excellent mini dental implants for lower and upper dentures at a more attractive price point. With a lower price point more patients can move forward with implant retained dentures...something just not possible with the mini mark implant system.

The competitors to ACE Surgical mini mark implants offer surgical setups that allow Dentists to place a wider assortment of dental implants. I must ask why any Dentist would want to invest several thousand dollars into a system that limits their ability so much? With that kind of investment you could place minis to small diameter to larger size implants and not have to have several placement kits.

I encourage any Dentist who does not place dental implants to learn how. There are several good one day seminars on how to place mini dental implants. These include seminars from Todd Shatkin, Ben Oppenheimer or mine ( OCO Biomedical Mini Dental Implant Seminar ).



Paresh B Patel Dental Implants Charlotte NC

Dental Implants Hickory Lenoir Boone NC

Mini Dental Implants

Do you have a partial denture or are missing teeth? In some cases mini dental implants by OCO Biomedical can help you regain your teeth back in a very easy and cost effective way.


My patient had a lower partial that his wife called his 'church teeth' in he hated them and would only put the partial denture in when he went to Church.

lower partial before dental implants

Lower ridge without his lower partial denture in place.


lower ridge

I decided to use Mini Dental Implants due to the thin ridge of bone that was left. Once teeth are extracted the bone will melt away over time. Adding a partial denture will accelerate this process by the constant rubbing on the gum tissue.

This x ray shows the OCO Biomedical Implant in place. dental implant x rayNotice how thin the bone is. If we did not have the option of using mini dental implants then either this case would not have been possible or the patient would have to have an additional surgical procedure to expand the bone or add a block of bone to the existing lower jaw. Both of which will increase expense, time, healing and discomfort.


OCO Biomedical Mini Dental Implants. These are 2.2mm Square Crown Versions. 2 are in place and the process will be continued for the additional two. These will support 4 individual lower front teeth crowns.

OCO Biomedical mini dental implants

All 4 OCO one piece mini dental implants a few weeks later before the crown seat appointment. Notice how the gum tissue is climbing up the mini implants. I will re-contour the gum with a soft tissue laser.

OCO Biomedical Implants for Crowns


The 4 individual mini dental implant porcelain crowns from First Impressions Dental Lab.

4 mini dental implant crowns

Mini Dental Implant Crowns. They are made to fit precisely over the OCO Biomedical one piece mini implants.

mini dental implant crowns good fit

4 Crowns on the i-Tero scanned model. These crowns were designed and milled out of a solid piece of Zirconia Porcelain.

i-Tero mini dental implant crowns

4 individual mini dental implant crowns in the mouth. They are cemented over the OCO Mini Dental Implants.

mini dental implant crowns in mouth

View with lower lip retracted. Photo is the day of the crowns being cemented in place, after the excess gum was shaped with the soft tissue laser.

mini dental implant crowns retracted view


Paresh B Patel Implant Dentist Charlotte NC

Dental Implants Hickory Lenoir Wilkesboro NC

Mini Dental Implants for information of the mini dental implant procedure, cost of mini dental implants, mini dental implants for the upper denture, mini dental implant bridges, mini dental implant education seminar lecture


Our Lenoir NC office welcomes dental implant patients from the area (Wilkesboro, Asheville, Hickory NC)


Can dental implants be affordable? My next patient from Hickory NC, wanted to get rid of his dentures and have a fixed set of crowns or a full arch roundhouse bridge on dental implants. He brought his treatment plan for 8 dental implants and a set of 12 porcelain cost a bit north of $28,000. With mini dental implants we could reduce that cost and still have a well engineered bridge.


He had a nice ridge of bone to work with.upper jaw It would not need any pre surgery to accommodate dental implants. With some planning with Jon Younce CDT at First Impressions Dental Lab a logical progression treatment plan was formulated that was restorative driven.


His pan x-raybefore ACE Surgical Implants xray also showed good bone with the sinus cavity totally dropped down where the back teeth were in the upper jaw. There was also a retained set of root tips that would need to be removed on the upper right.


Using his upper denture as a guide I made holes in the center of each back tooth and the lingual of the front teeth to ensure the mini dental implants would line up correctly for the final roundhouse full arch bridge.

upper denture guide stent

10 ACE Surgical Mini Prep 2.3mm implants were placed in the upper arch. They were placed as parallel as possible to allow for proper draw of the final roundhouse full arch bridge.ACE Surgical Implants in upper jaw

His denture was soft lined to fit over the ACE Surgical Mini Dental Implants.


A regular crown and bridge impression was taken of the 10 ACE Surgical Mini Dental Implants. upper impressionNo additional impression copings or lab analogs were used. With mini dental implants we can create a more efficient and cost effective solution for patients by reducing parts and pieces that are normally required with traditional dental implants.


A standard crown and bridge model was poured in Pol-u-rock by the lab and a set of trial resin crowns were made to let the patient 'test drive' the crowns.

lab model

Lab fabricated resin temporary crowns ready to try in and have the patient give us his feedback on esthetics, function, comfort and color.

lab temps over mini dental implants

It was decided after a few days that the temporary crowns were too long. temps adjusted for dental implants

The patient also had Bell's Palsy and we decided to try and correct the slant. This photograph shows one side of the temporary crowns shortened to the new lenght for the lab to see our corrections. I shapedthe other side and let the patient go home to 'test drive' them again for final approval.


Reshaped temps and final photos for the lab to duplicate the arcylic temps in porcelain for the full arch bridge

smileside view dental implants side view 2

Final porcelain bridge back from the lab. It is in three sections.

Roundhouse Full Arch Bridge mini dental implants

Final porcelain bridge cemented over 10 ACE Surgical Mini Prep

Mini Dental Implants.full arch bridge in mouth








Full smile with the bridge in place.

final smile view

Final pan x-ray with the 10 Ace Surgical

final xray of mini dental implant bridgeMini Dental Implants with the 12 units of bridge work cemented over them. Our plan is to do a lower mini dental implant overdenture that will be converted to a bridge over time as $$ can be invested.


Paresh B Patel General & Implant Dentist Hickory Charlotte NC

Mini Dental Implants

"A picture is worth a thousand words" chinese proverb

Very true that it is easier to convey the meaning of a complex idea with just a single picture.

I believe the proverb is contributed to the ancient philosopher Confucius.

Well I am just not that smart to have come up with such an elegant way to describe that visualization is a great way to absorb lots of data quickly and efficiently.



As a dentist I am bothered that many try to misinform the very patients we try and help daily with web postings such as this:


"Mini implants, often offered by less experienced dentists as a quick and less costly solution to replacing missing teeth, have a high degree of complications and failure and therefore are not recommended for long-term tooth replacement. Only standard size implants should be used for teeth replacement to achieve long-term success and longevity." These comments were made in December 2009.


Where are these complications? Where are these failures? I would think that a practice like mine where we focus on mini dental implants I would have hundreds of documented cases of failed mini dental implants. All the colleagues I meet from around the country would certainly share with me their failures if there was a high degree of them. To date I have not seen this. If anyone wants to see long term data you can look at them in Todd Shatkin's Compendium Article as well as several articles by Gordon Christensen.

Do mini dental implants fail? Sure they do....but not at any rate different than standard size implants. The basic premise applies. Place the implant under the correct protocol it will integrate. If the occlusal (biting) loads are managed correctly then the implant will work long term under function.

I think the higher road to take is to explain both options to patients. Mini Dental Implants do work and have been show to work well for a multitude of fixed (Crowns and Bridges) and removable (Partial and Complete Dentures) solutions for 12 years. Can I provide 35+ years of success. No....but if 12 years is an indicator then I suspect that they will. No gain is provided to dentistry and the patients we serve with misinformation.

In conclusion lets use Confucius's proverb show what I hope to communicate.



3 Mini Dental Implant to support 2 premolar crowns in the upper jaw. Placed and restored with PFM crowns 12-21-2009. Crowns by First Impressions Dental Lab

3 mini dental implants for 2 crowns upper jaw


One year post op x-ray 12-21-2010. Same three mini dental implants with 2 PFM premolar crowns in the upper jaw.

one year post op 3 mini dental implants crowns upper jaw

Mini Dental Implants before after one year for crowns and dentures

Confucius emphasized personal morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. I hope to see more of this in organized dentistry.

Paresh B Patel Mini Dental Implant Dentures

Mini Dental Implants Charlotte NC

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