The aim of the present study was to retrospectively evaluate small-diameter (3.3 mm) Straumann® dental implants placed in the maxilla or the mandible over a period of 5 years in function.
Twenty-eight partially edentulous patients received a total of 48 implants over a 5-year period. After the standard healing period (3 to 6 months), the implants were restored with single-tooth prostheses or fixed partial dentures. All patients were followed according to a strict maintenance program with regular recalls. The cumulative survival rates of implants were analyzed and prosthetic complications were assessed.
After 5 years of function, one single 10-mm-long implant in the maxillary premolar region was lost because of recurrent peri-implant infection in a female patient. Two single 10-mm-long maxillary implants placed in the posterior region were lost due to body fracture. The cumulative 5-year survival rate of the implants was 93.75 %. The most common prosthetic complication was loosening of the occlusal screw.
Within the limited observation period and the number of patients included in this study, it may be concluded that the use of small-diameter implants appears to be predictable if clinical guidelines are followed and appropriate prosthetic restorations are provided. However, it should be noted that fatigue fracture may occur.