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European Journal of Oral Implantology



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Eur J Oral Implantol 9 (2016), No. 4     16. Dec. 2016
Eur J Oral Implantol 9 (2016), No. 4  (16.12.2016)

Page 393-409, PubMed:27990507

Four mm-long versus longer implants in augmented bone in atrophic posterior jaws: 4-month post-loading results from a multicentre randomised controlled trial
Esposito, Marco / Zucchelli, Giovanni / Barausse, Carlo / Pistilli, Roberto / Trullenque-Eriksson, Anna / Felice, Pietro
Purpose: To evaluate whether 4-mm long dental implants could be an alternative to augmentation with equine bone blocks and the placement of at least 10-mm long implants in atrophic posterior jaws.
Materials and methods: Forty patients with atrophic posterior (premolar and molar areas) mandibles having 5 to 6 mm bone height above the mandibular canal and 40 patients with atrophic maxillae having 4 to 5 mm below the maxillary sinus, were randomised according to a parallel group design to receive one to three 4.0 mm-long implants or one to three implants, which were at least 10 mm long, in augmented bone at two centres. All implants had a diameter of 4.0 or 4.5 mm. Mandibles were vertically augmented with interpositional equine bone blocks and resorbable barriers. Implants were placed 4 months after interpositional grafting. Maxillary sinuses were augmented with particulated porcine bone via a lateral window covered with resorbable barriers, and implants were placed simultaneously. Implants were not submerged and were loaded after 4 months with provisional prostheses. Four months later, screw-retained reinforced acrylic restorations were delivered, and then replaced after 4 months by definitive screw-retained metal-composite prostheses. Patients were followed up to 4-months post-loading. Outcome measures included prosthesis and implant failures, any complication and peri-implant marginal bone level changes.
Results: No patient dropped out. In six augmented mandibles (30%), it was not possible to place implants which were at least 10.0-mm long, therefore shorter implants had to be placed instead. In particular, one mandible fractured and the patient did not want to go ahead with the treatment. One implant of the patient with the mandible fracture from the augmented group failed versus two 4.0 mm implants in two patients from the short implant group. In the maxillae, three short implants failed in two patients versus five long implants in three patients (two long implants and one short implant dropped into the maxillary sinus). Two prostheses on short implants (one mandibular and one maxillary) were placed at a later stage because of implant failures versus four prostheses (one mandibular and three maxillary) at augmented sites. In particular, three patients of the augmented group (one mandible and two maxillary) were not prosthetically rehabilitated. There were no statistically significant differences in implant failures (P (chi-square test) = 1.000; difference in proportion = 0; 95% Cl: -0.13 to 0.13 or prostheses failures (P (chi-square test) = 0.399; difference in proportion = 0.05; 95% Cl: -0.06 to 0.16). At mandibular sites, nine augmented patients were affected by complications versus one patient treated with short implants (P (chi-square test) = 0.003; difference in proportion = 0.40; 95% Cl: 0.16 to 0.64), with the difference being statistically significant. No significant differences were found for the maxillae: eight sinus lift patients versus three patients rehabilitated with maxillary short implants were affected by complications (P (chi-square test) = 0.077; difference in proportion = 0.25; 95% Cl: -0.02 to 0.52). Patients with mandibular short implants lost on average 0.40 mm of peri-implant bone at 4 months and patients with 10 mm or longer mandibular implants lost 0.52 mm. Patients with short maxillary implants lost on average 0.48 mm peri-implant bone at 4 months and patients with 10 mm or longer maxillary implants lost 0.50 mm. The difference was statistically significant in the mandibles (mean difference: -0.12 mm, 95% CI: -0.20 to -0.04, P (ANCOVA) = 0.006), but not in the maxillae (mean difference: -0.02 mm, 95% CI: -0.10 to 0.07, P (ANCOVA) = 0.711).
Conclusions: Four months after loading 4.0 mm-long implants achieved similar results, if not better, than longer implants in augmented jaws, but were affected by fewer complications. Short implants might be a preferable choice to bone augmentation, especially in mandibles, since the treatment is less invasive, faster, cheaper, and associated with less morbidity; however, 5- to 10-year post-loading data is necessary before making reliable recommendations.

Conflict-of-interest statement: Global-D (Brignais, France) partially supported this trial and donated the implants and prosthetic components; however, data property belonged to the authors and by no means did Global-D interfere with the conduct of the trial or the publication of the results.

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