Background: Bone resorption following tooth loss and proximity of the alveolar crest to vital structures such as the maxillary sinus and the inferior dental canal can be a limitation to tooth replacement with an implant. The placement of short dental implants may reduce the need for bone augmentation as bone augmentation increases the cost of providing dental implant treatment.
Aim: To assess the treatment outcome and survival rate of short implants used for single and multiple teeth replacement after one year of loading and restoration.
Methodology: This study included 26 patients aged 21 to 70 years with a mean of 47.24 SD ± 14.51 years that received 55 short dental implants (Bicon system, Boston, USA) for single and multiple teeth replacement at the Restorative Dentistry Clinic of Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria between 2012 and 2016. Demographic data such as age, sex, location of implant, length of implant, placement technique and type of restoration (crown or bridge) were obtained from the patients' hospital records. Patients were recalled three months, six months and one year after implant placement and restoration to assess clinically for implant mobility, pain, suppuration, gingival recession and inflammation around the implant retained restorations. Marginal bone loss and peri-implant radiolucency were evaluated using periapical radiograph.
Results: Survival rate of short implants placed in this study was 96.4%. None of the surviving implants showed a marginal bone loss greater than 1.5mm one year after placement. None of the surviving and functional implant restoration demonstrated mobility, suppuration or peri-implant radiolucency during the review period. The 8mm implants demonstrated a statistically significantly higher survival rate compared with the 6mm implants (p=0.039). A significantly higher percentage of failure was recorded among the implants placed in the lower premolar region (p=0.001).
Conclusion: This study has shown that the use of short implants is a viable option in teeth replacement especially when the alveolar bone height is less than 10mm.
Keywords: Short dental implants; Survival rate; Tooth replacement.