Short Implants- predictable alternative?
Today, implant dentistry has achieved major advances toward simplifying the oral rehabilitation of patients with severe alveolar atrophy. The reliability and predictability of short dental implants are supported by an increasing number of scientific and clinical evidence. The definition of short implants has been evolving toward shorter length and dental implants with a length lower than 5 mm are available in the market. The clinical use of this type of implants has an added value for the clinician by reducing the complexity of the surgical intervention and the demand on the new bone volume to gain. Also, the patients will benefit from reducing the surgical morbidity, the time and the cost. Moreover, short dental implants will facilitate the implant removal of failed implants due to biological or technical complications.
However, the use of short dental implants will require the clinician to acquire surgical skills to minimize the early implant failures. The surgeon is working in the vicinity of critical anatomical structures like the inferior alveolar nerve, mentonian nerve, Schneiderian membrane, and floor of the nasal cavity. There is a need to use the instruments and equipment that allow the surgeon better visual control at all moments of the surgery and increase the precision of placing the implant. Furthermore, selection of the implant macro-design, the surface treatment and the adequate prosthetic protocol are corner stones in treating severe alveolar atrophy with short dental implants. Moreover, diagnosis, case selection and treatment planning are cornerstones in the predictable clinical use of short dental implants. A multi-disciplinary approach is needed.
All these aspects will be presented in didactic presentation with clear take-home messages to benefit you the next you see a patient.