Long-Term Outcomes for the Treatment of Atrophic Posterior Maxilla: A Systematic Review of Literature

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Purpose: The aim of the present systematic review was to estimate the implant survival rate in different types of techniques for the rehabilitation of posterior atrophic maxilla, after at least 3 years of follow-up. Materials and Methods: MEDLINE database was searched using a combination of specific terms. A hand searching of the relevant journals and of the reference lists of systematic reviews was also performed. All retrospective and prospective studies evaluating short implants in posterior maxilla, osteotome sinus floor elevation and lateral approach sinus floor elevation, and having a follow-up of at least 3 years, were included. Results: Forty-four articles were included in the review. In four studies reporting on a total of 901 short implants, the implant survival rate varied from 86.5% to 98.2% with up to 5 years follow-up. For the osteotome technique, 1,208 implants in eight studies were considered, showing a survival rate varying from 95.4% to 100% after 3-year follow-up. Twenty-nine studies, accounting for 6,940 implants placed in 2,707 sinuses augmented through lateral technique were considered. Implant survival rate varied from 75.57% to 100%. Only three comparative studies were found that showed no significant difference in clinical outcomes between lateral approach and osteotome technique. Conclusions: Sinus floor elevation with the lateral approach and with the osteotome technique is an effective and well-documented therapeutic option for the rehabilitation of atrophic posterior maxilla. The use of short implants is promising but needs further investigation to be considered as effective as the other techniques in the long term. However, the indication for the three different techniques is not perfectly equivalent and the treatment choice should be based on a careful evaluation of the individual case, in particular on the available residual bone.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Implant Dentistry and Related Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2013



  • Lateral approach
  • Osteotome
  • Posterior maxilla
  • Short implant
  • Sinus floor elevation
  • Sinus lift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Dentistry(all)

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