Background: This study evaluates 3-year success rates of titanium screw-type implants with a chemically modified sandblasted and acid-etched surface (mod SLA), which were functionally loaded after 3 weeks of healing.
Methods: A total of 56 implants, inserted in the posterior mandibles of 39 partially edentulous patients, underwent undisturbed healing for 3 weeks. At day 21, the implants were fully loaded with provisional crowns. Definitive metal ceramic restorations were fabricated after 6 months of healing. Clinical measurements regarding soft tissue parameters and radiographs were obtained at different time points up to 36 months after implant placement. The soft tissue and radiographic parameters for the mod SLA implants after 3 years in function were compared to a historic control group of implants with an SLA surface using an early loading protocol after 6 weeks.
Results: None of the implants failed to integrate. However, two implants were considered "spinners" at day 21 and were left unloaded for an extended period. Therefore, 96.4% of the inserted implants were loaded according to the protocol tested. All 56 implants, including the "spinners," showed favorable clinical and radiographic findings at the 3-year follow-up examination. All 56 implants were considered successfully integrated, resulting in a 3-year survival and success rate of 100%. Dental implants with a mod SLA surface demonstrated statistically significant differences for probing depths and clinical attachment level values compared to the historic control group, with the mod SLA surface implants having overall lower probing depths and clinical attachment level scores.
Conclusion: This prospective study using an early loading protocol demonstrates that titanium implants with the mod SLA surface can achieve and maintain successful tissue integration over a period of 3 years.