Short implants have been presented as an alternative to vertical bone-augmentation procedures when the vertical dimension in the maxilla is reduced and they have been associated with less treatment time and lower initial costs.
However, short (6mm) implants are less predictable in terms of survival rates than longer implants in combination with osteotome sinus-floor elevation (OSFE), according to research now summarised as JCP Digest 89.
A three-year follow-up to an earlier randomised controlled trial, carried out at Hong Kong University, found that short implants had a significantly lower survival rate when compared to longer implants in combination with OSFE.
In terms of the implants’ surviving free of complications, no differences were found between the three groups in the study (short implants, 8mm implants combined with OSFE, 10mm implants combined with OSFE).
The total costs after three years were lower for short implants than for longer ones. However, retreatment costs were higher in the patients with short implants.
The research was summarised for JCP Digest by students at the EFP-accredited postgraduate programme in periodontology at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.