Clinical oral implants research vol:13 issue:4 pages:390-5
The purpose of this study was to evaluate over time the marginal bone level changes around implants installed to treat partial edentulism and to investigate the possible effect of several confounding variables. Consecutive intraoral radiographs taken with the paralleling technique were used. In all, 660 partially edentulous patients ever treated in the departments (248 males; 15-83 years of age) with 1655 implants, which were successfully integrated at abutment connection, were loaded by means of fixed partial prostheses. The observation period starting at abutment connection reached 16 years (mean 5.1). Implants were divided into three groups: 235 implants supported single-tooth crowns, 398 supported implant-tooth connected and 1022 free-standing fixed partial prostheses. Implants were placed in maxilla and mandible, both anteriorly and posteriorly. No significant difference in bone level evolution was predicted between the three groups of implants, either for posterior or for anterior sites. The estimated marginal bone loss for the first 6 months is 0.31 mm/year and after that 0.015 mm/year higher in the maxilla than in the mandible. More bone loss was predicted for the first 6 months when dehiscences existed, when a membrane or a bone graft were used, or when metal/ceramic prosthesis material was applied. Age and gender did not affect the change in bone level. The use of subsequently situated single-implant crowns to restore an edentulous space did not lead to more marginal bone loss than around splinted implants. Based on marginal bone height maintenance, the excellent prognosis of the presently used implants to support restorations in the treatment of partial edentulism was confirmed.