PURPOSE: For patients with narrow, single-tooth edentulous ridges as a result of permanent tooth agenesis (hypodontia) in the maxillary lateral and mandibular incisor regions, dental implant treatment may present a reliable and predictable restorative treatment solution. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the clinical reliability and outcome of small-diameter dental implants placed in a one-stage procedure with early loading replacing maxillary lateral or mandibular incisor teeth.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with hypodontia in the maxillary lateral incisor or mandibular incisor region analyzed in this report were selected from a larger prospective multicenter study. Small-diameter dental implants (AstraTech OsseoSpeed TX 3.0 S, Dentsply) of different lengths were placed using a one-stage surgical protocol with a 6- to 10-week healing period before loading. Probing pocket depth, bleeding on probing, and gingival zenith score were assessed after 6, 12, 24, and 36 months. Radiographic examination was assessed at 6, 12, and 36 months.
RESULTS: In total, 38 patients were included in this analysis and 62 small-diameter implants were placed. The mean distance between adjacent teeth was 6.30 mm (SD: 1.36). All patients received a titanium transmucosal abutment and cement-retained ceramic crown after 6 to 10 weeks of healing. Two implants were lost during the healing period before loading, providing a total implant survival rate of 96.8%. No implant fractures were reported. Mean marginal bone level change from surgery to follow-up visits at 6, 12, and 36 months were 0.39 mm, 0.22 mm, and 0.23 mm, respectively. The condition of soft tissue was stable at all follow-up visits with clinically insignificant changes in probing depth, bleeding on probing, and gingival zenith score.
CONCLUSION: This study evaluated the behavior over 36 months of AstraTech Osseospeed TX 3.0 S dental implants placed into narrow one-tooth defect edentulous ridges as a result of hypodontia. The data collected highlighted the stability of the marginal bone level and soft tissues around the dental implants in conjunction with durable mechanical function. Small-diameter implants can be considered a valid solution in the restorative treatment of hypodontia in the maxillary lateral and mandibular incisor regions.
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