Radiograph at the loading stage, showing the difference in subcrestal placement between the two implants. ©Dr Sergio Salina
The results of a randomised, controlled multicentre 3-year post-loading study were recently published in the International Journal of Oral Implantology. This study aimed to evaluate whether the subcrestal placement of dental implants 0.5 mm or 1.5 mm in healed bone crests impacts the aesthetic and biological results long term.
Sixty partially edentulous patients requiring two single implant-supported crowns were recruited at six centres in Italy between 2013 and 2018. The two implants were placed randomly at 0.5 mm or 1.5 mm beneath the bone crest.
Both surgical protocols produced very high aesthetic results (PES>12) and demonstrated minimal bone resorption (<0.5 mm) after 3 years. Bone resorption was slightly lower for subcrestal placement at 1.5 mm versus 0.5 mm, without any impact on the aesthetic score. This tends to show that a deeper insertion of the implant could be beneficial in terms of guaranteeing bone stability, which will be confirmed by a 5-year follow-up.