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Eur J Oral Implantol. 2015 Autumn;8(3):221-30.

Posterior jaws rehabilitated with partial prostheses supported by 4.0 x 4.0 mm or by longer implants: Four-month post-loading data from a randomised controlled trial.



To evaluate whether 4.0 x 4.0 mm dental implants could be an alternative to implants at least 8.5 mm long, which were placed in posterior jaws in the presence of adequate bone volumes.


One hundred and fifty patients with posterior (premolar and molar areas) mandibles having at least 12.5 mm bone height above the mandibular canal or 11.5 mm bone height below the maxillary sinus, were randomised according to a parallel group design, in order to receive one to three 4.0 mm-long implants or one to three implants which were at least 8.5 mm long, at three centres. All implants had a diameter of 4.0 mm. Implants were loaded after 4 months with definitive screw-retained prostheses. Patients were followed up to 4-month post-loading and outcome measures were prosthesis and implant failures, any complications and peri-implant marginal bone level changes.


No patients dropped-out before the 4-month evaluation. Three patients experienced the early failures of one 4.0 mm-long implant each, in comparison to two patients who lost one long implant each (difference in proportion = 0.01; 95% CI -0.06 to 0.09; P = 0.50). Consequently, two prostheses in each group could not be delivered as planned (difference in proportion = 0; 95% CI -0.07 to 0.07; P = 0.69), and one patient from each group is still waiting to have their prostheses delivered. Three short implant patients experienced three complications versus two long implant patients (difference in proportion = 0.01; 95% CI -0.06 to 0.09; P = 0.50). There were no statistically significant differences in prosthesis failures, implant failures and complications. Patients with short implants lost on average 0.38 mm of peri-implant bone at 4 months and patients with long mandibular implants lost 0.42 mm. There were no statistically significant differences in bone level changes up to 4 months between short and long implants (mean difference = 0.04 mm; 95% CI: -0.041 to 0.117; P = 0.274).


Four months after loading, 4.0 x 4.0 mm implants achieved similar results as 8.5 x 4.0 mm-long or longer implants in posterior jaws, however 5 to 10 years post-loading data are necessary before reliable recommendations can be made.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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