Purpose: The aim of this survey is to assess the different radiographic interpretations of simulated dental implant cases among a group of specialists in oral surgery.
Material and methods: A total of 76 active members of the Italian Society of Oral Surgery and Implantology were recruited for the study. The participants in the study were requested to assign scores to radiographic images of 12 simulated cases of dental implants: a baseline and follow-up image for cases with different bone loss (0, 1 or 5 mm), implant length (8 or 12 mm) and years of follow-up (1 or 5 years).
Results: In total, 63 active members agreed to participate in the survey. The inter-rater agreement was 0.86 (CI 95% 0.74; 0.95). In cases where the bone loss was absent (0 mm) no difference was detected at 1 or 5 years of follow-up. In contrast, when bone loss was present (1 or 5 mm) the longer follow-up (5 years) revealed the highest score. The lowest score was attributed to 5 mm of bone loss and 1 year of follow-up. Moreover, a significant difference between the short (8 mm) and the long (12 mm) implant was observed (score difference 0.45; CI 95% 0.28; 0.63).
Conclusions: This investigation suggests that subjective evaluation of radiographs on simulated implants by skilled clinicians is rather uniform, and bone loss, follow-up and implant length are factors considered in the perception of implant success.
Keywords: dental implants, outcome assessment, radiography, success