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Clin Implant Dent Relat Res. 2003;5 Suppl 1:29-36.

Immediate loading in the maxilla using flapless surgery, implants placed in predetermined positions, and prefabricated provisional restorations: a retrospective 3-year clinical study.

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Immediate loading of dental implants shortens the treatment time and makes it possible to give the patient an esthetic appearance during the whole treatment period.


The aim of the present study was to evaluate an immediate-loading treatment protocol, which included flapless surgery, implants placed in predetermined positions and connected to prefabricated provisional restorations, and the 3-year clinical results.


A total of 97 Brånemark System Mk IV implants (Nobel Biocare AB, Gothenburg, Sweden) with a machined surface were inserted in the maxillas of 46 patients. A presurgical three-dimensional model of the patients' soft tissue and underlying alveolar bone anatomy was created, which allowed the clinician to place the implants in predetermined positions and connect them to prefabricated provisional restorations. A surgical template with drilling guides corresponding to each implant was used. The apical part of the master guide was equipped with a circular "mucotome," which punched out a 5 mm hole in the mucosa to eliminate the need for flap elevation. The patients received 25 fixed partial prostheses and 27 single-tooth restorations. Bone quality and quantity were assessed. Radiographic examinations were performed on the day of surgery/loading and at the 1-, 2-, and 3-year follow-up visits.


All implant sites showed intact buccal and lingual bone walls during surgery, confirming the accuracy of the bone-mapping procedure. The prefabricated temporary restorations fitted, meaning that the implants were positioned clinically in the same way as on the cast. Nine implants in eight patients failed during the first 8 weeks of loading. This resulted in a cumulative survival rate of 91% after 3 years of prosthetic load. The survival rate of splinted implants was 94%. The number of failed implants was significantly higher in cases of single-tooth replacements and placement in soft bone sites and smokers. The failed implants were successfully replaced according to a two-stage protocol. All patients finally received the expected restoration. The marginal bone resorption was on average 1.0 mm during the first year of loading, 0.4 mm during the second year, and 0.1 mm during the third year.


The study confirmed the feasibility of an immediate-loading treatment protocol in the maxilla, which included flapless surgery, implants and abutments placed in predetermined positions, and prefabricated provisional restorations. All failures occurred within the first 2 months of loading. The unchanged survival rate and the low average bone loss found during the following 34-month study period indicate a good long-term prognosis for the performed immediate-loading treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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