Souheil Bechara, Francesco G. Mangano, Ricardas Kubilius, Jefferson T. Pires, Giovanni Veronesi, Jamil A. Shibli
To investigate whether short (6-mm) dental implants could be an alternative to sinus floor elevation (SFE) and placement of longer (≥10-mm) implants in the posterior maxilla.
Materials and methods
Over a 3-year period, all patients presenting with partial edentulism in the posterior maxilla were considered for inclusion in this randomized controlled trial. Patients were randomly chosen either to receive short (6-mm) implants (test group [TG]) or to undergo SFE with simultaneous placement of standard-length (≥10-mm) implants (control group [CG]). SFE was performed using the lateral technique. In both groups, tapered implants (AnyRidge, MegaGen, Gyeongbuk, South Korea) were placed. All implants were loaded after 4 months of healing. At each annual follow-up session, clinical and radiographic parameters were assessed. Primary outcomes were implant survival, stability (measured with the implant stability quotient [ISQ]), marginal bone loss (MBL), and complications; secondary outcomes were patient satisfaction and treatment time and cost.
Thirty-three patients were assigned to the TG and 20 to the CG. Forty-five implants were inserted in each group. At 3 years, implant survival rates were 100% and 95.0% for the TG and CG, respectively; this difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.38). The mean ISQ values of the TG and CG did not differ at placement (68.2 vs. 67.8, P = 0.1), at delivery of the final restoration (69.5 vs. 69.4, P = 0.9), and after 1 year (71.0 vs. 71.5, P = 0.1); at 3 years, the CG had a significantly higher mean ISQ than the TG (72.4 vs. 71.6, P = 0.004). Mean MBL was significantly higher in the CG than in the TG, both at 1 year (0.14 mm vs. 0.21 mm, P = 0.006) and at 3 years (0.20 mm vs. 0.27 mm, P = 0.01). A few complications were reported. Surgical time and cost were significantly higher in the CG than in the TG (P < 0.0001). Patient satisfaction was high in both groups.
In this randomized controlled trial, results for short (6-mm) implants were similar to those for longer (≥10-mm) implants in augmented bone. Short implants might be preferable to SFE, because the treatment is faster and less expensive. Long-term randomized controlled trials are required to confirm these results.