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J Clin Periodontol. 2011 Sep;38(9):856-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2011.01750.x. Epub 2011 Jul 3.

Impact of dental implant length on early failure rates: a meta-analysis of observational studies.

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  • 1Department of Oral Surgery, Bernhard Gottlieb School of Dentistry, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.



To test the null hypothesis of no difference in failure rates of short (minimum length: 7 mm) and longer dental implants (≥ 10 mm), a meta-analysis was performed on prospective observational trials.


A systematic electronic and hand search was performed to identify eligible studies. Having additional data supplied by the authors, 54 publications were included (19,083 implants).


In case of mandibular implants, the null hypothesis of no impact of reduced implant length on failure within the first year of prosthetic loading could not be rejected. A significant impact of implant length could be substantiated for short machined implants in the anterior [odds ratio (OR) 5.4] and posterior maxilla (OR 3.4), while short rough-surfaced implants demonstrated increased failure rates in the anterior maxillary sites. No influence of implant diameter and denture type on the failure rate of short implants could be revealed.


In areas of reduced alveolar bone height the use of short dental implants may reduce the need for invasive bone augmentation procedures.

© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

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