Clinical oral implants research vol:23 issue:9 pages:1118-1122
OBJECTIVE: Several theories have been presented to explain initial and secondary marginal bone loss around dental implants (e.g. microbial load, adverse loading, microbial leakage, compromised healing/adaptation of host-implant interface). MATERIAL AND METHODS: This study compared the long-term outcome (up to 12 years) of sleeping with loaded implants in the mandible via a split-mouth concept. Fourteen patients with overdentures were enrolled (10 women, mean age at implant insertion: 56 years [range: 33-71]). They presented with 28 loaded (position 33/43) and 14 sleeping implants (mostly position 31/41). At several follow-up visits, intra-oral radiographs (long-cone principle) were taken to observe marginal bone level changes. RESULTS: At each observation, compared with abutment connection, the submerged non-loaded implants showed less bone loss (P-values: 1st year 0.007, 3 years 0.000, 5 years 0.002, 8 years 0.007, 12 years 0.000) than their neighbouring functional implants. This difference was primarily due to a more significant bone loss during the first year of loading (0.8 vs. 0.1 mm respectively), since afterwards, the bone level changes remained quite similar for both implant types. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that the first months of loading have a significant impact on the bone level (initial difference sleeping vs. loaded implants), followed by a more physiological bone level change afterwards. This initial difference might be explained by the adaptation of the surrounding bone to the loaded implant.