Objectives The use of short implants has been suggested in recent years as an option for facilitating prosthetic restoration in resorbed jawbones. The aim of the present study was to determine how implant success rate is affected in the long term when ultra-short implants are rehabilitated with fixed restorations, resulting in a crown to implant (C/I) ratio of more than 3:1. Materials and methods The study was conducted as an analysis on all patients operated from December 2005 to November 2007 with ultra-short dental implants. All implants were sintered porous-surfaced (SPS) with a length of 5 mm and a diameter of 5 mm (5 x 5 mm) and were restored with a single crown or a fixed dental prosthesis (FDP). Data collected included implant positioning site, crestal bone levels (CBL), and clinical and anatomical C/I ratios, and pre-established success criteria were used to evaluate the success rate of the implants. Statistical analysis was used to determine any significant differences or correlations (p = 0.05). Results Forty-one patients completed the follow-up and were eligible for this retrospective study on a total of 50 ultra-short SPS implants. The mean follow-up was 9.5 years (range 8.3 to 10.2 years). Three of the 50 implants failed because they were lost due to peri-implantitis, while all the other 47 met the pre-established success criteria giving an overall implant success rate of 94%. During the follow-up period, the mean peri-implant bone loss (PBL) was 0.41 + 0.36 mm. Conclusions This study shows that ultra-short SPS implants can prove a reliable solution for prosthetic restoration in patients with severe alveolar bone atrophy. In selected patients with a sufficient bone width, ultra-short implants with a resulting C/I ratio of more than 3:1 presented no contraindications.
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