One embodiment of an implant insertion device includes a handle, a shaft having a proximal end attached to the handle and a distal end and a pair of jaws each having a first end attached to the distal end of the shaft, a free second end and a gripping element at the second end. The free ends of the jaws are movable between gripping positions to grasp the implant between the gripping elements and releasing positions to release the implant. The jaws are biased apart to the releasing positions. Each of the gripping elements defines a substantially uniform or flat gripping surface. In some embodiments the gripping surfaces include teeth. The gripping surfaces face one another to contact the surface of the implant when the jaws are in the gripping positions. The devices of this invention also include a hollow sleeve slidably disposed over the jaws for forcing the jaws together towards the gripping positions.