Materials and methods: Forty-seven patients were randomly allocated to 1- or 2-stage treatment groups immediately after implant placement. Twenty-nine patients received 38 1-stage early loaded implants and 18 patients received 51 2-stage early loaded implants. Outcome measures were failures of implants and/or prosthesis, complications, pain score, amount of analgesic consumption and periimplant bone level changes at implant loading (12 weeks) and at the 1-year follow-up.
Results: After 1 year, no dropout occurred. In the 1-stage group, 2 implants (1 patient) failed to osseointegrate and the implant-supported prosthesis could not be placed, versus none in the 2-stage group. Two complications were reported in the 1-stage group versus only one in the 2-stage group. Pain score measurements, analgesic consumption and peri-implant bone level did not show any significant difference between the two groups. All patients would undergo the same procedures again.
Conclusions: The submerged technique is not a prerequisite for osseointegration, though 1-stage implant placement might be at a slightly higher risk for early failures.
Keywords: bone crest level, dental implants, early loading, one-stage placement, two-stage placement