Background: The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the use of immediate restorations supported by 3.0-mm-diameter implants as a suitable technique for the rehabilitation of partial posterior edentulism.
Methods: Forty consecutive patients, 18 males and 22 females with a mean age of 54.7 +/- 17.2 years, with partial edentulism in the posterior region were treated with 93 immediately restored 3.0-mm-diameter implants. Forty-eight and 45 implants were placed in the maxilla and mandible, respectively. All implants were placed in healed sites and splinted by the temporary restoration, which was placed to avoid occlusal contact. The final restoration was delivered approximately 6 months after implant insertion. Mean marginal bone loss was assessed using standard periapical radiographs immediately after surgery and at 6-, 12-, 24-, 36-, and 48-month follow-up examinations.
Results: All implants had osseointegrated and were clinically stable at the 6-month follow-up. The accumulated mean marginal bone loss was 1.16 +/- 0.90 mm (N = 89) at the 48-month follow-up. No implant fractures occurred.
Conclusion: The use of immediately loaded small-diameter implants supporting fixed partial restorations is a predictable procedure for the rehabilitation of partial posterior edentulism.