Purpose: To explore whether extra-short (4-mm) implants could be used to rehabilitate sites where regenerative procedures had failed in order to avoid additional bone grafting.
Keywords: bone regeneration, dental implants, reconstructive surgical procedure, treatment failure
This study did not receive any external funding. Prof Felice receives research grants from Global D (Brignais, France). The other authors report no conflicts of interest.
Materials and methods: A retrospective study was conducted among patients who had received extra-short implants after failed regenerative procedures in the posterior atrophic mandible. The research outcomes were complications, implant failure and peri-implant marginal bone loss.
Results: The study population was composed of 35 patients with 103 extra-short implants placed after the failure of different reconstructive approaches. The mean follow-up duration was 41.3 ± 21.4 months post-loading. Two implants failed, leading to a failure rate of 1.94% (95% confidence interval 0.24%–6.84%) and an implant survival rate of 98.06%. The mean amount of marginal bone loss at 5 years post-loading was 0.32 ± 0.32 mm. It was significantly lower in extra-short implants placed in regenerative sites that had previously received a loaded long implant (P = 0.004). Failure of guided bone regeneration before placement of short implants tended to lead to the highest annual rate of marginal bone loss (P = 0.089). The overall rate of biological and prosthetic complications was 6.79% (95% confidence interval 1.94%–11.70%) and 3.88% (95% confidence interval 1.07%–9.65%), respectively. The success rate was 86.4% (95% confidence interval 65.10%–97.10%) after 5 years of loading.
Conclusions: Within the limitations of this study, extra-short implants seem to be a good clinical option to manage reconstructive surgical failures, reducing surgical invasiveness and rehabilitation time.