BACKGROUND:The loss of one or more teeth has always been a reason for bone resorption and it can lead to a condition of "alveolar atrophy" that could make implant rehabilitation difficult.PURPOSE:The aim of this prospective study was to observe crestal bone loss and implant success of short implants with oxidized surfaces in patients with partially edentulous jaws after a 3- to 5-year follow-up.MATERIALS AND METHODS:Forty-six patients with single or partial edentulism were treated consecutively from 2006 to 2008 using 107 short implants with oxidized surfaces, which were restored with a single crown or a partial fixed denture. Clinical and radiographic examinations were scheduled after functional loading of implants according to a well-established protocol generally applied to determine implant success rates and crestal bone levels. Statistical analysis was used to determine significant differences or correlations between variables (p = .05).RESULTS:After a 3- to 5-year follow-up, 44 patients with 102 implants were still followed up according to previously established study protocol, because two patients with five implants dropped out. Ninety-eight out of 102 implants are still functioning: four implants have been lost, with a survival rate of 96.1%. Moreover, a total of seven implants failed to meet the success criteria, resulting in a success rate of 93.1%. The mean bone loss was 0.9 ± 0.6 mm.CONCLUSIONS:Many authors had recently demonstrated the predictability of short implants in different clinical conditions after a short-term follow-up. After 3 to 5 years of functional loading, short implants used to restore posterior teeth seems to be a viable solution in order to simplify and shorten the treatment of patients with partial edentulous jaws. Long-term follow-up is recommended to definitively establish the predictability and efficiency of this kind of implant-supported rehabilitation.
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