Purpose: To compare the short-term outcome of dental implant therapy in a group of organ transplant patients with that of a control group.
Materials and methods: The study population included consecutive organ transplant patients and consecutive normal (healthy) subjects as controls. Two films were taken of all patients: one at baseline (implant placement) and one after 3 months of healing. All radiographs were analyzed twice (15 days apart) blindly by two independent trained radiologists. Crestal bone level (CBL) was measured, defined as the perpendicular distance from the reference point on the implant to the first visible apical bone-to-implant contact.
Results: The study population included 10 organ transplant patients (eight hearts, two livers) and 10 control patients, who received 20 and 12 submerged dental implants, respectively. At the 3-month follow-up visit, no implants showed any exposed cover screws. CBL increased in both groups, without any significant difference between the groups (CBL increased from 0.08±0.09 mm to 0.28±0.20 mm in transplant patients and from 0.11±0.16 mm to 0.42±0.32 mm in controls). Multiple analysis of variance showed that the mean bone loss of 0.21±0.18 mm observed in the group of transplant patients was not statistically different from that (0.32±0.25 mm) seen in the control group and was not influenced by any of the variables considered.
Conclusions: The present pilot study seems to indicate that the bone response around submerged dental implants in immunocompromised organ transplant patients does not differ from that observed in control patients and that this particular population of patients may be successfully rehabilitated with dental implants.