Inside Dentistry
November 2011
Volume 7, Issue 10

3M ESPE MDI Mini Dental Implants

Minimally invasive system offers improved stability and functionality.

The MDI Mini Dental Implant System from 3M ESPE offers a less expensive, less invasive alternative to conventional implants and is an innovative solution for edentulous patients seeking long-term relief from denture discomfort. MDIs are FDA-accepted for long-term denture stabilization use and are clinically proven with a more than 90% success rate.1 Mini dental implants offer strength, performance and simplicity —key factors for clinical success and patient satisfaction—and are discussed within the implantology community as a solution for patients who are not ideal candidates for conventional implants or cannot afford them.

Mini dental implants are commonly known as a means to stabilize a lower denture, but unlike many other small-diameter implants they can also be used to stabilize an upper denture or to place fixed restorations. Mini dental implants are designed for stability in soft and dense bone, which is essential for immediate loading. Attachment designs are available for custom retention for each case with three retention options. These attachment designs forgive up to 30º divergence between two implants with no need for an angle correction inventory (Figure 1).

The MDI system consists of 1.8-mm, 2.1-mm, 2.4-mm, and 2.9-mm-wide titanium alloy implants at lengths of 10 mm, 13 mm, 15 mm, or 18 mm and a retaining fixture that is incorporated into the base of a patient’s denture (Figure 2). Mini dental implants are placed through a small pilot hole versus into a full osteotomy, and the patented MDI insertion protocol is often completed without a flap or graft. To hold dentures securely in place, the O-ring in the retaining fixture snaps over the ball-shaped head of the implant.

Getting Certified to Place MDIs

The 90-minute placement procedure for MDIs can be learned in 1-day seminars led by some of the most experienced small-diameter implant clinicians in the world. Attendees learn MDI surgical and prosthetic protocols through case presentations and hands-on practice with realistic anatomical models. Participants have the opportunity to review potential MDI case diagnostics with instructors, with an overall emphasis on treatment planning, case selection, implant-placement protocol, restorative techniques, and marketing strategies.

The 3M ESPE Clinical Support Network gives dentists who use MDIs access to expert training and marketing and clinical support. Where available, dentists can review their case planning with staff clinicians and also receive chairside support on their first cases from local implant specialists.

A Simple, Strong Solution

Mini dental implants can be an attractive option for patients who are not ideal candidates for conventional implant treatment. A problem many aging denture patients face is ridge resorption, and MDIs offer a solution for patients with deteriorating natural dentition to gain the added esthetics, stability, comfort, and confidence that dentures provide. MDIs require a minimum of 4.8-mm bone width, while conventional implants require a larger bone width. MDIs are also more affordable than conventional implants, which is important especially for patients with a fixed income. Lastly, the MDI system is beneficial due to its minimally invasive insertion protocols and immediate-load procedure, which allows for shorter recovery time, with the majority of patients able to begin eating comfortably within days. Other indications for MDIs include long-term full-denture stabilization, long-term partial-denture stabilization, and long-term fixation of bridges.

Cost/Time Savings

Mini dental implants are an effective practice builder for general practitioners, offering a highly profitable revenue stream and an expanded patient base for referrals. MDIs offer a low cost of entry, and an introductory kit often pays for itself after one to two cases. Offering MDI services to patients can also become a gateway to other complementary treatments. For example, a rebase can be performed to help revitalize patients’ existing dentures and at minimum, a reline is necessary to fit the retaining fixtures into a patient’s denture. In addition, after implants have been placed, patients are often open to exploring other services to improve the esthetics of their smile.

Innovative Implantology

The 3M ESPE MDI Mini Dental Implant System is a market leader in small-diameter implant systems, offering a simple product portfolio that is innovative, reliable, and efficient. The procedure is a viable solution for a wide range of patients, including those experiencing bone loss or those who are limited financially. With the MDI Mini Dental Implant system, 3M ESPE offers a cost-effective implantology solution for dentists everywhere.


1. Bulard RA, Vance JB. Multi-clinic evaluation using mini-dental implants for long-term denture stabilization: a preliminary biometric evaluation. Compend Contin Educ Dent. 2005; 26(12):892-897.

For more information, contact:

Phone: 800-634-2249
Web: www.3mespe.com


The preceding material was provided by the manufacturer. The statements and opinions contained therein are solely those of the manufacturer and not of the editors, publisher, or the Editorial Board of Inside Dentistry.

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