Inferior alveolar nerve lateralization (IANL) and short dental implants (SDI) are 2 viable implant-based treatment approaches in the presence of atrophied posterior mandible. Despite the risks of dysfunction, infection, and pathologic fractures in IANL, it becomes possible to place standard implants. The purpose of this study was to compare SDI and IANL approaches from clinical and radiographic aspects. Fifteen subjects having unilateral atrophic mandibles were allocated to SDI and IANL treatment groups. Following surgical procedures, early postoperative complications, implant survival, and periimplant clinical and radiographic parameters including probing pocket depth, attachment level, keratinized tissue amount, vertical tissue recession, and marginal bone loss were recorded at baseline and 1-year after prosthetic rehabilitation. In both groups, no implant was lost. Except usual postoperative complications, 2 patients had transient paraesthesia after IANL. According to time-dependent evaluation, both groups showed significant increase in probing pocket depth and attachment level at 1-year follow-up compared with baseline (P < 0.05). Except a slight but significant increase in mesial surface of SDI group (P < 0.05), no remarkable time-dependent change was identified in vertical tissue recession. Keratinized tissue amount did not exhibit any inter- or intragroup difference during whole study period. Marginal bone loss did not show any difference between IANL and SDI groups at follow-up. SDI placement or standard length implant placement with IANL can be considered promising alternatives in the treatment of atrophic mandibular posterior regions. However, SDI may be preferred in terms of lower complication risk.