Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 24 (2009), Supplement 30. Oct. 2009
Purpose: To evaluate early and immediate loading of implants in the posterior maxilla and to investigate whether there is a difference in success rates, survival rates, and peri-implant parameters, including marginal bone level changes.
Materials and Methods: A comprehensive systematic review of the literature was conducted. The selection of publications reporting on human clinical studies was based on predetermined inclusion criteria and was agreed upon by two reviewers.
Results: Twelve papers were identified on early loading (two randomized controlled clinical trials [RCTs] and 10 prospective case series studies). Six papers were found on immediate loading (one RCT, four prospective case series, and one retrospective study).
Conclusions: Under certain circumstances it is possible to successfully load dental implants in the posterior maxilla early or immediately after their placement in selected patients. The success rate appears to be technique sensitive, although no study has directly assessed this. A high degree of primary implant stability (high value of insertion torque) and implant surface characteristics play an important role. It is not possible to draw evidence-based conclusions concerning contraindications, threshold values for implant stability, bone quality and quantity needed, or impact of occlusal loading forces. As for the impact of the surgical technique on implant outcome in different bone densities, no studies prove significant superior results with one technique over another. Well-designed RCTs with a large number of patients are necessary to make early/immediate loading protocols in posterior maxilla evidence based, but ethical and practical considerations may limit the real possibility of such studies in the near future.
Keywords: dental implants, fixed dental prostheses, loading protocol, partial edentulism, posterior maxilla, single crown, systematic review