Performance of Immediately Loaded Short Dental Implants Using Low-Speed Drilling Protocol and Plasma Rich in Growth Factors: A Controlled Retrospective Observational Study
Short dental implants are an alternative to surgical bone augmentation procedures and longer implant placements. The high predictability of short dental implants has encouraged clinicians to load them immediately. However, there are few studies assessing the influence of immediate versus delayed loading of short (< 8 mm) dental implants. The purpose of this retrospective study was to report the midterm outcomes (survival and marginal bone loss) of immediate versus delayed loading of short (< 8 mm) implants. A total of 44 patients with 149 short implants fulfilled the inclusion criteria (95 and 54 implants with delayed and immediate loading, respectively). The descriptive clinical variables of implant survival, marginal bone loss, and prosthetic complications were recorded and statistically analyzed during the follow-up period. The mean follow-up time was 60 ± 40 months. The overall cumulative implant survival was 95.6%, and marginal bone loss was -0.1 ± 0.7 mm. No statistically significant differences were detected between the immediate and delayed loading groups in terms of implant survival (92.6% vs 97.5%) or marginal bone loss (-0.2 ± 0.8 mm vs -0.1 ± 0.7 mm), respectively. According to the results of this study, the immediate loading of short dental implants demonstrated predictability after midterm follow-up time. These results must be confirmed in future prospective studies.