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International Journal of Oral Implantology



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Int J Oral Implantol (Berl) 4 (2011), No. 1     25. Mar. 2011
Int J Oral Implantol (Berl) 4 (2011), No. 1  (25.03.2011)

Page 21-30, PubMed:21594216

Rehabilitation of postrior atrophic edentulous jaws: prostheses supported by 5 mm short implants or by longer implants in augmented bone? One-year results from a pilot randomised clinical trial
Esposito, Marco / Pellegrino, Gerardo / Pistilli, Roberto / Felice, Pietro
Purpose: To evaluate whether 5 mm short dental implants could be an alternative to augmentation with anorganic bovine bone and placement of at least 10 mm long implants in posterior atrophic jaws.
Materials and methods: Fifteen patients with bilateral atrophic mandibles (5-7 mm bone height above the mandibular canal), and 15 patients with bilateral atrophic maxillae (4-6 mm bone height below the maxillary sinus) and bone thickness of at least 8 mm, were randomised according to a splitmouth design to receive one to three 5 mm short implants or at least 10 mm long implants in augmented bone. Mandibles were vertically augmented with interpositional bone blocks and maxillary sinuses with particulated bone via a lateral window. Implants were placed after 4 months, submerged and loaded, after 4 months, with provisional prostheses. Four months later, definitive provisionally cemented prostheses were delivered. Outcome measures were: prosthesis and implant failures, any complication and peri-implant marginal bone level changes.
Results: In 5 augmented mandibles, the planned 10 mm long implants could not be placed and shorter implants (7 and 8.5 mm) had to be used instead. One year after loading no patient dropped out. Two long (8.5 mm in the mandible and 13 mm in the maxilla) implants and one 5 mm short maxillary implant failed. There were no statistically significant differences in failures or complications. Patients with short implants lost on average 1 mm of peri-implant bone and patients with longer implants lost 1.2 mm. This difference was statistically significant.
Conclusions: This pilot study suggests that 1 year after loading, 5 mm short implants achieve similar if not better results than longer implants placed in augmented bone. Short implants might be a preferable choice to bone augmentation since the treatment is faster, cheaper and associated with less morbidity, however their long-term prognosis is unknown.

Keywords: bovine anorganic bone, inlay graft, short dental implants, sinus lift, vertical augmentation