We prefer to use larger implants for the teeth in back (molars) as they take more stress, but some patients just don't have enough bone 'width' to accommodate these wide-body implants, so occasionally we will use two narrow diameter implants to support one molar. This approach saves the patient expensive bone grafting and quite a bit of time. We will explain the advantages of both and offer either approach to our patients for consideration during their consultation.
The XR below shows one finished tooth on the right ...crown is cemented on the implant. And the implant on the left has just been placed. In this case, an impression is made and the final crown will be cemented in two weeks. A soft comfort cap was placed on the abutment for those 2 weeks. You can see the implant "body" which is that part in the bone and the abutment which is above the gum line. The crown is cemented to the abutment. There are hundreds of manufactures making implants of different designs, shapes, materials....the choice is endless. We prefer a simple one-piece design, whenever possible as it saves the Patient and Doctor, both money and time. Two things we always seem to be running out of....:)
The XR below shows a medium width implant which does a nice job of supporting the premolars in the middle of the arch. Doctors looking at this XR will notice that we captured the bone anterior to the sinus , distal to the root of the canine, allowing for a long 16 mm length. This approach avoids a block graft and a large diameter, 12 mm long implant. Again, this gives the patient a choice.
Surface area is the most important component for long term implant function in my book. This can be achieved with either long and narrow or short and wide implants.
Very narrow implants or mini implants are very useful as they condense bone as they are placed and allow us to place teeth in severely atrophied (small) jaw ridges. We also use them as temporary implants, tent implants used during guided bone regeneration procedures and as economical supports for loose full dentures. We have more than 80 different size implants in stock. So...if we don't have it.... you probably don't need it... :)