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J Periodontol. 2009 Feb;80(2):347-52. doi: 10.1902/jop.2009.080286 .

Minimally invasive flapless implant placement: follow-up results from a multicenter study.

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The placement of implants using a minimally invasive flapless approach has the potential to reduce operative bleeding and postoperative discomfort and minimize crestal bone loss. This article presents follow-up data on a prospective clinical study of implants placed using a flapless procedure.


The original study reported on 57 patients (33 female patients with an age range of 24 to 86 years; 24 male patients with an age range of 27 to 81 years) recruited from three clinical centers (Tucson, Arizona; Gothenburg, Sweden; and Tel Aviv, Israel) who received 79 implants. After an average of 3 years and 8 months, the patients were contacted and invited to return to their respective clinics for reexamination. Thirty-seven patients with 52 implants returned for a follow-up examination; the remaining 20 patients (27 implants) were not available for reexamination and were considered study drop-outs.


The cumulative survival rate at the 3- to 4-year follow-up examination remains at 98.7%, reflecting the loss of one implant. The mean probing depth at abutment connection was 2.2 mm, as reported in the initial study (examination 2 at approximately 2 years postplacement); it was 2.4 mm at the 3- to 4-year second follow-up examination. This change was not clinically or statistically significant. Bleeding score changes also were not significant between the two intervals. The average crestal bone level was -0.7 mm at examination 2 and -0.8 mm at examination 3, a change that approached significance (P <0.06).


Minimally invasive flapless surgery offers patients the possibility of high implant predictability with clinically insignificant crestal bone loss for up to 4 years. Proper diagnosis and treatment planning are key factors in achieving predictable outcomes.

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