Purpose: The purpose of this clinical trial was to evaluate whether the crestal bone height around dental implants could be influenced by the use of a platform-switching protocol.
Materials and methods: All implants placed in the year 2006 in healed bone without any need for ridge augmentation were included in this study. The following groups were created: (1) wide-diameter implants were placed subcrestally and regular-diameter cover screws were connected; (2) regular-diameter implants were placed at the crest and regular-diameter cover screws were connected. Standardized radiographs were obtained after insertion of the definitive prosthesis and after 1 year. Calibrated measurements were conducted initiating from the mesial and distal bone peaks to the implant-abutment junction. The average value of the mean medial and mean distal values was calculated and analyzed with an unpaired two-tailed t test. P values < .05 were regarded as statistically significant.
Results: In all, 89 dental implants in 36 patients were evaluated. The implants with a platform-switched configuration (n = 75) exhibited statistically significantly less bone loss at time of insertion of the definitive prosthesis (0.30 +/- 0.07 mm versus 0.68 +/- 0.17 mm; P < .05) and at 1 year (0.39 +/- 0.07 mm versus 1.00 +/- 0.22 mm, P < .01) when compared to the nonplatform-switched implants (n = 14).
Conclusion: Platform-switched implants seem to limit crestal bone remodeling.