Many clinical studies have shown that replacement of molars with only 1 implant is commonly associated with various functional complications, such as implant fracture and screw loosening. Thus, multiple implants have been recommended to withstand the high occlusal forces present in the molar region. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the clinical response to the use of single implants with a progressive thread design (Ankylos) in the replacement of molar teeth. Fifty-eight implants (10 in the maxilla and 48 in the mandible) were placed in 51 patients. The implants were in situ for 29.30 ± 16.52 months and in function for 20.60 ± 16.64 months. All crowns were cemented to the abutments. The crown occlusion was adjusted to obtain minimal normal contacts in the centric occlusion and eccentric positions. Implants were clinically and radiographically evaluated, and clinical indices (Plaque Index, Sulcus Bleeding Index, probing pocket depth, keratinized mucosa width, Periotest) were recorded immediately before the placement of the prosthesis and once annually. Vertical and horizontal bone loss were also examined radiographically. Two implants were lost (1 because of fracture in a patient who was a bruxer and another because of abutment fracture in the endosseous part of the implant). All clinical and radiographic parameters of most of the implants were comparable to the values found for the same type of implant in other clinical indications. The reduced incidence of failure (96.55% survival rate) found in this study with the Ankylos implant system compared to the results reported in the literature indicate that this system can be used for the replacement of molars using single-implant-supported restorations.
Keywords: biomechanics, molar, single-tooth dental implants