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Clin Implant Dent Relat Res. 2005;7 Suppl 1:S21-7.

Minimally invasive flapless implant surgery: a prospective multicenter study.

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University of Southern California School of Dentistry, Los Angeles, CA, USA.



Placement of implants with a minimally invasive flapless approach has the potential to minimize crestal bone loss, soft tissue inflammation, and probing depth adjacent to implants and to minimize surgical time.


The aim of this multicenter study was to evaluate implant placement using a minimally invasive one-stage flapless technique up to 2 years.


Fifty-seven patients ranging in age from 24 to 86 years were recruited from three clinical centers (Tucson, AZ, USA; Tel Aviv, Israel; Göteborg, Sweden). Seventy-nine implants were placed. A small, sharp-tipped guiding drill was used to create a precise, minimally invasive initial penetration through the mucosa and into bone (Nobel Biocare, Yorba, Linda, CA, USA). Implants were placed according to the manufacturer's instructions, with minimal countersinking. The parameters evaluated were total surgical time, implant survival, bone quality and quantity, implant position by tooth type, depth from mucosal margin to bone crest, implant length, probing depth, inflammation, and crestal bone changes. At 2 years, for 79 implants placed in 57 patients, the cumulative success rate using a minimally invasive flapless method was 98.7%, indicating the loss of 1 implant. Changes in crestal bone for 77 baseline and follow-up measurements were insignificant (radiograph 1: mean 0.7 mm, SD 0.5 mm, range 2.8 mm, minimum 0.2 mm, maximum 3.0 mm; radiograph 2: mean 0.8 mm, SD 0.5 mm, range 3.4 mm, minimum 0.12 mm, maximum 3.5 mm). Using descriptive statistics for 78 patients (one implant lost), mean changes for probing depth and inflammation were clinically insignificant. The average time for implant placement was 28 minutes (minimum 10 minutes, maximum 60 minutes, SD 13.1 minutes). Average depth from mucosal margin to bone was 3.3 mm ( SD 0.7 mm, minimum 2 mm, maximum 5 mm, range 3 mm). Thirty-two implants were placed in maxillae and 47 in mandibles.


The results of this study demonstrate that following diagnostic treatment planning criteria, flapless surgery using a minimally invasive technique is a predictable procedure. The benefits of this procedure are lessened surgical time; minimal changes in crestal bone levels, probing depth, and inflammation; perceived minimized bleeding; and lessened postoperative discomfort.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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