Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify retrospectively the predictors of implant survival when the flapless protocol was used in two private dental practices.
Materials and methods: The collected data were initially computer searched to identify the patients; later, a hand search of patient records was carried out to identify all flapless implants consecutively inserted over the last 10 years. The demographic information gathered on statistical predictors included age, sex, periodontal and peri-implantitis status, smoking, details of implants inserted, implant locations, placement time after extraction, use of simultaneous guided hard and soft tissue regeneration procedures, loading protocols, type of prosthesis, and treatment outcomes (implant survival and complications). Excluded were any implants that required flaps or simultaneous guided hard and soft tissue regeneration procedures, and implants narrower than 3.25 mm.
Results: A total of 1,241 implants had been placed in 472 patients. Life table analysis indicated cumulative 5-year and 10-year implant survival rates of 97.9% and 96.5%, respectively. Most of the failed implants occurred in the posterior maxilla (54%) in type 4 bone (74.0%), and 55.0% of failed implants had been placed in smokers.
Conclusion: Flapless dental implant surgery can yield an implant survival rate comparable to that reported in other studies using traditional flap techniques.