Keywords: crestal bone loss, dental implant, low-speed drilling, standard drilling
Purpose: There is a substantial need to perform studies to evaluate crestal bone loss (CBL) and implant success when using a newly introduced low-speed drilling protocol. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the mean CBL and implant success rate by placing implants utilizing two drilling protocols, ie, standard and low-speed drilling protocols.
Materials and methods: A randomized controlled clinical trial was carried out in patients who required dental implants to restore their esthetics and function. The patients were recruited from a university hospital (Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam [ACTA], the Netherlands). Based on the inclusion criteria, patients were randomized to two study groups: (1) control group, standard drilling protocol; and (2) test group, low-speed drilling protocol without saline irrigation. The mean CBL and the implant success rate were evaluated after 12 months of implant placement.
Results: Twenty-three patients (15 men and 8 women with a mean age of 57.5 ± 10.7 years) contributed to the study. Forty Camlog screw-line implants were placed (20 implants per study group). After 12 months of implant placement, the mean CBL of implants placed with the standard protocol and the low-speed protocol was 0.206 ± 0.251 mm and 0.196 ± 0.178 mm, respectively. No statistically significant difference could be recorded among both groups (P = .885). Concerning implants placed in the maxilla, the standard drilling group and low-speed drilling group showed a mean CBL of 0.252 ± 0.175 mm and 0.251 ± 0.175 mm, respectively, compared with 0.173 ± 0.210 mm and 0.141 ± 0.172 mm in the mandible, with no significant difference. The success rate of dental implants at 12 months was 95% in the control group and 90% in the test group.
Conclusion: Within the limitations of this study, it can be concluded that implants placed with the low-speed drilling protocol without saline irrigation exhibited a similar CBL compared with implants placed with the standard drilling protocol. However, a higher success rate was recorded especially in type 1-quality bone for the control group compared with the test group. Further randomized clinical trials with greater sample sizes and extended follow-up times should be performed to obtain stronger evidence and a better understanding of the influence of drilling speed on mean CBL and long-term implant success.