Short Dental Implants in Posterior Partial Edentulism: A Multicenter Retrospective 6-Year Case Series Study

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Abstract

Background:

Implants <10 mm long in the posterior regions of partially edentulous patients have a higher failure rate in many clinical reports. The purpose of this case series study was to evaluate implant survival when a biomechanical approach was used to decrease stress to the bone-implant interface.

Methods:

A retrospective evaluation of 273 consecutive posterior partially edentulous patients treated with 745 implants, 7 or 9 mm long, supporting 338 restorations over a 1- to 5-year period was reviewed from four private offices. Implant survival data were collected relative to stage I to stage II healing, stage II to prosthesis delivery, and prosthesis delivery to as long as 6 years follow-up. A biomechanical approach to decrease stress to the posterior implants included splinting implants together with no cantilever load, restoring the patient with a mutually protected or canine guidance occlusion, and selecting an implant designed to increase bone-implant contact surface area.

Results:

Of the 745 implants inserted, there were six surgical failures from stage I to stage II healing. All five failures were with a one-stage surgical approach (240 implants). There were two failures from stage II healing to prosthesis delivery. No implants failed after the 338 final implant prostheses were delivered. A 98.9% survival rate was obtained from stage I surgery to prosthetic follow-up.

Conclusions:

Short-length implants may predictably be used to support fixed restorations in the posterior partial edentulism. Methods to decrease biomechanical stress to the bone-implant interface appear appropriate for this treatment. J Periodontol 2006;77:1340-1347.

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