Objective: The objective of this prospective, comparative study was to evaluate the potential of allowing immediate (within 72 hours) loading of palatal implants used for maximum orthodontic anchorage. This is in contrast to the standard protocol calling for a healing period of 12 weeks.
Materials and methods: Sixteen patients with a mean age of 14.22+/-1.37 years for whom orthodontic treatment with maximum anchorage was indicated were randomized into two groups. In the SB (immediate loading) group (n=8, mean age 14.15+/-1.2 years), the implants were employed to provide maximum anchorage for a 1.2 x 1.2 mm TPA wire in combination with a molar band within 72 hours of insertion. In the KB (conventional loading) group (n=8, mean age 14.30+/-1.57 years), the implants were not used for maximum anchorage until a 12-week healing period had elapsed. Patients in both groups with implants that were clinically unstable after insertion were excluded from the study. After conclusion of the treatment, the implants were explanted and embedded using the sawing-grinding technique after Donath. Bone-implant contact (KIK) was analyzed using Bioquant Osteo software version 7.10.10.
Results: The objective of the orthodontic treatment, to achieve maximum anchorage of the first molars, was achieved in both groups. In the SB group, the mean bone-implant contact was 55.0%+/-21.6. In the KB group, the mean bone-implant contact was 73.1%+/-19.8. With a p-value of 0.1661, the difference between the bone-implant contact values was not statistically significant.
Conclusion: The results of our clinical study demonstrate that when implants are clinically stable following insertion, it seems that a 12-week healing phase during which the implants are not loaded leads to a non-statistically significant improvement in osseointegration.