Objectives: The aim of this prospective cohort study was to evaluate the success rate of titanium screw-type implants with the sandblasted and acid-etched (SLA) surface loaded early, after 6 weeks of healing.
Material and methods: A total of 104 implants were inserted into posterior sites of 51 partially edentulous patients exhibiting bone densities of class I-III. After a healing period of 6 weeks, all implants were functionally loaded with cemented crowns or fixed partial dentures. The patients were recalled at 3, 12, 24, 36, 48 and 60 months for clinical and radiographic examination.
Results: One implant failed to integrate during healing, and three implants were lost to follow-up and were considered drop-outs. The remaining 100 implants showed favorable clinical and radiographic findings at the 5-year examination. The peri-implant soft tissues were stable over time; the mean probing depths and mean attachment levels did not change during the follow-up period. None of the radiographs exhibited signs of continuous peri-implant radiolucency, which confirmed ankylotic stability for all 100 implants. The measurement of the bone crest levels (DIB values) indicated stability as well. Based on strict success criteria, all 100 implants were considered successfully integrated, resulting in a 5-year success rate of 99%.
Conclusion: This prospective study using an early loading protocol with 6 weeks of healing demonstrated that titanium implants with the SLA surface can achieve and maintain successful tissue integration with high predictability for at least 5 years of follow-up in selected patients and sites.