Objectives:Dental implants shorter than 8 mm, called short dental implants (SDIs), have been considered to have a lower success rate than standard length implants. But recent studies have shown that SDIs have a comparable success rate, and implant diameter was more important for implant survival than implant length. Also, SDIs have many advantages, such as no need for sinus lifting or vertical bone grafting, which may limit use in medically compromised patients. Materials and Methods:In this study, 33 patients with 47 implants 7-mm long were examined over the last four years. All patients had special medical history and were categorized into 3 groups: systemic disorders, such as diabetes mellitus (controlled or uncontrolled), mental disability, and uncontrolled hypertension; oral cancer ablation with reconstruction, with or without radiotherapy; diverse osteomyelitis, such as osteoradionecrosis and bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw. Most of these patients have insufficient residual bone quality due to mandible atrophy or sinus pneumatization. Results:The implant diameters were 4.0 (n=38), 4.5 (n=8), and 5.0 mm (n=1). Among the 47 implants placed, 2 implants failed before the last follow-up. The survival rate of 7-mm SDIs was 95.74% from stage I surgery to the last follow-up. Survival rates did not differ according to implant diameter. The mean marginal bone loss (MBL) at 3 months, 1 and 2 years was significantly higher than at implant installation, and the MBL at 1 year was also significantly higher than at 3 months. MBL at 1 and 2 years did not differ significantly. Conclusion:Within the limitations of the present study, the results indicate that SDIs provide a reliable treatment, especially for medically compromised patients, to avoid sinus lifting or vertical bone grafting. Further, long-term follow-up is needed.
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