Impact of implant length and diameter on survival rates

Despite the high success rates of endosseous oral implants, restrictions have been advocated to their placement with regard to the bone available in height and volume. The use of short or nonstandard‐diameter implants could be one way to overcome this limitation.
53 human studies evaluated.
Implant length: A relatively high number (12) indicated an increased failure rate with short implants which was associated with operators’ learning curves, a routine surgical preparation (independent of the bone density), the use of machined‐surfaced implants, and the placement in sites with poor bone density. Recent publications (22) reporting an adapted surgical preparation and the use of textured‐surfaced implants have indicated survival rates of short implants comparable with those obtained with longer ones.
Implant diameter: Few publications reported an increased failure rate, which was mainly associated with the operators’ learning curves, poor bone density, implant design and site preparation, and the use of a wide implant when primary stability had not been achieved with a standard‐diameter implant. More recent publications with an adapted surgical preparation, new implant designs and adequate indications have demonstrated that implant survival rate and diameter have no relationship.

When surgical preparation is related to bone density, textured‐surfaced implants are employed, operators’ surgical skills are developed, and indications for implant treatment duly considered, the survival rates for short and for wide‐diameter implants has been found to be comparable with those obtained with longer implants and those of a standard diameter. The use of a short or wide implant may be considered in sites thought unfavourable for implant success, such as those associated with bone resorption or previous injury and trauma. While in these situations implant failure rates may be increased, outcomes should be compared with those associated with advanced surgical procedure such as bone grafting, sinus lifting, and the transposition of the alveolar nerve.

Renouard F, Nisand D
Clin Oral Implants Res. 2006 Oct;17 Suppl 2:35-51.
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