Are Short Dental Implants (<10 mm) Effective? A Meta-Analysis on Prospective Clinical Trials

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This study aims to compare the survival rate of short (<10 mm) and standard (≥10 mm) rough-surface dental implants under functional loading.


An electronic literature search using PubMed and Medline databases was conducted. Prospective clinical human trials, published in English from January 1997 to July 2011, that examined dental implants of <10 mm with a 12-month follow-up were included in this meta-analysis. The following data were retrieved from the included articles: the number of implants, implant dimensions, implant locations, types of prostheses, follow-up periods, and implant survival rates. Kaplan-Meier survival estimates and the hazard rates were analyzed and compared between short and standard implants.


Thirteen studies were selected, examining 1,955 dental implants, of which 914 were short implants. Short dental implants had an estimated survival rate of 88.1% at 168 months, when standard dental implants had a similar estimated survival rate of 86.7% (P = 0.254). The peak failure rate of short dental implants was found to occur between 4 and 6 years of function. This occurred at an earlier time point compared with standard dental implants, where the peak failure rate occurred between 6 and 8 years of function.


This study shows that in the long term, implants of <10 mm are as predictable as longer implants. However, they fail at an earlier stage compared with standard implants.

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