Modern clinical protocols in implantology aim at shortening the treatment time and reducing duration and discomfort of the surgical phase, while maintaining optimal treatment outcomes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinical outcomes of implants immediately placed in extraction sites, using a single drilling step for implant site preparation. One-hundred thirty-three patients (mean age 55.3 ± 12.7 [SD] years, range 20-83 years) were treated at 2 clinical centers. Two-hundred sixty-one implants were inserted in fresh postextraction sockets. One-hundred sixty-five implants were immediately loaded (IL) and 96 underwent delayed loading (DL). Implant survival, peri-implant bone level change and patients' satisfaction were assessed after at least 3 years of function. No patient dropout occurred. The mean follow-up was 63.61 ± 11.52 months (range 39.71-85.71 months) from prosthesis delivery. Two IL and 1 DL implant failed in 3 patients. Implant survival was 98.8% and 99% for IL and DL group, respectively. The mean marginal bone loss after 1 year was 0.48 ± 0.40 mm and 0.52 ± 0.34 mm for IL and DL group. No biological nor mechanical complications occurred. All patients demonstrated full satisfaction. The present protocol with single burs for site preparation produced satisfactory clinical outcomes independent of the loading timing. Further long-term comparative studies are needed to confirm the present findings.
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