The results of a randomised trial with bisphosphonate-coated dental implants have been reported previously. Each patient received one coated and one uncoated implant in a double-blind split-mouth design study. After 6 months of osseointegration, resonance frequency analysis indicated better fixation of the coated implants. Reduced marginal bone resorption was also shown. However, it was not known whether the advantage of the bisphosphonate coating would persist over time. The radiographic results at 5 years after implant installation are reported herein. A blinded investigator measured marginal resorption on fresh radiographs obtained for 14 of the 16 patients (two had died) and compared these with the post-implantation images. Non-parametric statistics were used. All implants functioned well. The median marginal bone loss for control implants was found to be 0.70mm, which is less than usually reported in the literature. The bisphosphonate-coated implants showed even less resorption (median 0.20mm). The median difference within each pair of implants after 5 years of use was 0.34mm (95% confidence interval 0.00-0.75mm; P=0.04). The present data suggest that bisphosphonate-coated implants enable prolonged preservation of the marginal bone.
Keywords: bone healing; dental implant; marginal bone loss; radiographic evaluation.
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