Source of support: The study was partially supported by Nobel Biocare, Denmark. Conflict of interest: None. Aim: To evaluate the treatment outcome of implant-supported single-tooth replacements performed by dental students as part of their undergraduate dental curriculum after a mean follow-up period of 10 years (range: 7.5 to 12 years). Materials and methods: A total of 51 patients were consecutively treated by dental students with 55 implants supporting single crowns. The treatment was performed under supervision of dentists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons, all with special knowledge about oral implantology. Survival of implant crown, survival of implant, probing depth, bleeding on probing and peri-implant marginal bone level change were evaluated at the end of the follow-up period. In addition, biological and technical complications during the entire follow-up period were assessed. Results: A total of 45 patients with 49 implants were available at the end of the study. The survival of the implant crowns as well as the implants was 94%. The mean probing depth at patient level was 4.8 mm. The probing depth varied between 2 and 10 mm at the individual site. The mean bleeding on probing score was 0.57 at patient level and absence of bleeding around all sites of the implants was rarely observed. The mean bone level change was -0.14 mm (range: 1.2 to -1.1 mm) during the first year of loading and 0.16 mm (range: 1.4 to -1.8) after 10 years at patient level. Five episodes of peri-implant inflammation due to excess cement were registered in five patients. Moreover, a fistula was observed at two implants in two patients. Finally, five technical complications occurred in five patients. Conclusions: Implant-supported single-tooth replacements performed by dental students as part of their undergraduate dental curriculum were characterised by high survival rates as well as few biological and technical complications. It seems acceptable to include implant therapy in the clinical undergraduate dental curriculum, provided a focus remains on straightforward cases with substantial supervision by trained dentists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons.
Keywords: complications, dental implants, dental students, oral implants, retrospective study