Purpose: To evaluate the outcome of narrow-diameter (3.3-mm) locking-taper implants used in the rehabilitation of partially and fully edentulous patients over a 10-year period.
Materials and methods: Between January 2002 and December 2011, all patients referred to a private dental clinic for treatment with narrow-diameter implants were enrolled in this study. At each annual follow-up session, clinical and radiographic parameters were assessed; the outcome measurements were implant failure, peri-implant marginal bone loss (distance between the implant shoulder and the first visible bone-to-implant contact [DIB]), and biologic and technical complications. The cumulative survival rate (CSR) was assessed using the Kaplan-Meier survival estimator; Tarone-Ware and chi-square analyses were used to evaluate correlations between the study variables. The statistical analysis was performed at the patient- and implant-level.
Results: A total of 324 narrow-diameter implants were placed in 279 patients (159 men, 120 women; age: 25 to 73 years). Four implants failed, for an overall CSR of 98.5% (patient-based) and 98.7% (implant-based) at the 10-year follow-up. The survival rate did not differ significantly with respect to patients' sex, age, smoking or parafunctional habits, bone type, prosthetic restoration, or implant location, position, or length. Among the surviving implants, a mean DIB of 0.31 ± 0.23 mm, 0.45 ± 0.27 mm, and 0.69 ± 0.28 mm was observed at the 1-, 5-, and 10-year follow-up examinations, respectively. A few biologic (1.2%) and technical complications (7.5%) were reported.
Conclusions: Within the limitations of this study, it can be concluded that narrow-diameter locking-taper implants represent a good treatment option for the prosthetic rehabilitation of partially and totally edentulous patients.