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The International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants



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Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 18 (2003), No. 5     15. Sep. 2003
Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 18 (2003), No. 5  (15.09.2003)

Page 659-666

Early Loading of Nonsubmerged Titanium Implants with a Sandblasted and Acid-Etched (SLA) Surface: 3-year Results of a Prospective Study in Partially Edentulous Patients
Bornstein, Michael M. / Lussi, Adrian / Schmid, Bruno / Belser, Urs C. / Buser, Daniel
Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the success rate of ITI implants with the SLA surface that were loaded after 6 weeks of healing.
Materials and Methods: In this prospective cohort study, a total of 104 implants were placed in posterior sites of 51 partially edentulous patients exhibiting bone densities of Class 1, 2, or 3. After a healing period of 6 weeks, all implants were functionally loaded with cemented crowns or fixed partial dentures. The patients were recalled at 3, 12, 24, and 36 months for clinical and radiographic examination.
Results: One implant failed to integrate during healing, and 1 implant was lost to follow-up and considered a dropout. The remaining 102 implants showed favorable clinical and radiographic findings and were considered successfully integrated at the 3-year examination. This resulted in a 3-year success rate of 99.03%.
Discussion: The peri-implant soft tissues were stable over time, as evidenced by no changes in the mean probing depths and the mean attachment levels during the follow-up period. None of the radiographs exhibited signs of continuous peri-implant radiolucency, which confirmed ankylotic stability of all 102 implants. The radiographic evaluation of the bone level at the implant indicated stability of the bone crest levels.
Conclusion: The results of this prospective study demonstrated that early loading of ITI implants with the SLA surface after an unloaded healing period of 6 weeks provided successful tissue integration with high predictability, and that successful tissue integration was well maintained up to 3 years of follow-up in this study population.