There are a number of reasons why a practitioner may choose to use an implant with a reduced diameter of 3mm. For example, the patient may have reduced buccolingual bone width due to atrophic changes of the alveolar crest. But are these implants as effective and successful as implants with a conventional length?
Researchers at the Academy for Oral Implantology have conducted a study aimed at evaluating the aesthetic and radiographic outcomes of small diameter implants for single-tooth replacement. The study looked at 46 single tooth implants placed in 38 patients. Each of the implants had a diameter of 3mm.
To evaluate the implants, researchers examined pink esthetic scores (PES) and bone level analyses one year following implant placement. The average PES of patients in the study was 10 and 72% of implants overall were found to have a satisfactory aesthetic appearance. The researchers also reported that reduced-diameter implants showed very little in the way of marginal bone loss (MBL), and the mean MBL observed was 5 ± 0.7mm. This indicated a slight improvement compared with the pre-implant situation.
This study was presented as an e-poster at the 2017 EAO Congress.