Background: There is limited information on the effect of the connection between subcrestally placed implants and abutments on marginal bone levels. The aim of the present retrospective study was to evaluate marginal bone levels after definitive prosthesis delivery around implants with an internal 5° conical connection placed in a subcrestal position.
Materials and methods: Patients treated with fixed prostheses supported by implants placed at a subcrestal level between 2012 and 2018 were recalled for a follow-up examination. All implants had 5° internal conical connection with platform switching. Radiographic marginal bone level (MBL) was measured. MBL change between prosthetic delivery (t0) and follow-up examination (t1) was calculated. A multiple regression model was performed to identify the most significant predictors on MBL change.
Results: Ninety-three patients and 410 implants, with a mean follow-up of 2.72 ± 1.31 years, were examined. Mean MBL was -1.09 ± 0.65 mm and -1.00 ± 0.37 mm at t0 and t1, respectively, with a mean bone remodeling of 0.09 ± 0.68 mm. An implant's vertical position in relation to the bone crest, the year of follow up and the presence of type-2 controlled diabetes were demonstrated to be influencing factors for MBL modifications.
Conclusions: Subcrestally placed implants with platform switching and internal conical connection maintained stable bone levels over a mean follow-up of more than 2 years. How a tight internal conical connection between abutment and implant may contribute to this clinical evidence should be more deeply investigated. MBL variations seem to be mostly influenced by an implant's vertical position and presence of type-2 controlled diabetes.
Keywords: dental implant; marginal bone loss; retrospective studies; subcrestal implant placement.