Objectives: The aim of the present long-term study was to retrospectively evaluate the survival rate of implants placed in regenerated maxillary sinuses and to assess the influence of hypothetical predictors of implant failure.
Methods: A database including 218 patients who received dental implants after sinus lift procedures was analyzed. The following variables were systematically included and evaluated: type of graft material used, number of surgeries performed, and use of membranes to cover the lateral antrostomy and/or to repair accidental Schneiderian membrane perforations. The Kaplan-Meier estimator was used for comparisons among the groups.
Results: A total of 589 dental implants were positioned in 246 grafted sinuses and were in function for 3-186 months. The Kaplan-Meier cumulative survival rate was 98.3% after 15.5 years of follow-up. All implant losses occurred within 52 months (4.3 years) after augmentation. According to the log-rank test, no statistically significant difference was shown between each patient/implant variable (p>0.05).
Conclusions: Despite the limitations inherent in this type of study, no statistically significant differences between the groups could be found. Intraoperative Schneiderian membrane perforations did not affect the outcome of the implants positioned.
Clinical significance: The present long-term study is intended as a reference for clinicians approaching sinus floor elevation surgery in order to provide them with relevant operative findings. Since all the drawbacks occurred within the first 5 years, medium-term follow-up studies could be suitable for further retrospective evaluations.
Keywords: Barrier membranes; Bone regeneration; Bone substitutes; Dental Implants; Sinus lift.
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