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Volume 16 , Issue 1
January/February 2003

Pages 19–24

Evaluation of Distraction Implants for Prosthetic Treatment After Vertical Alveolar Ridge Distraction: A Clinical Investigation

Matthias Feichtinger, MD, DDS, Alexander Gaggl, MD, DDS, PhD, Günter Schultes, MD, DDS, PhD, Hans Kärcher, MD, PhD

PMID: 12675450

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to clinically evaluate the mucosal condition and the esthetic and functional results of distraction implants loaded with fixed or removable implant-supported restorations. Materials and Methods: A total of 35 patients were treated with 62 distraction implants for correction of alveolar ridge deficiency. The distraction implants were loaded with prosthetic superstructures 4 to 6 months after distraction. Nine patients were provided with single-crown restorations, 16 received metal-ceramic fixed partial dentures, and 10 received removable overdentures. Recall was scheduled before and 3, 6, and 9 months after implant loading. Periotest values, periimplant probing depths, and radiographic marginal bone levels were recorded, along with any biologic or mechanical complications. Results: Patients were followed for 9 months after implant loading. Two distraction implants were lost before abutment connection. After fabrication and placement of individual abutments, all implants were loaded with prosthetic superstructures. The results showed a decrease of the Periotest values, and thus an increase of implant stability, during the following 9 months. Periimplant probing depths also decreased in the first months after implant loading. Soft tissue around the superstructures and adjacent teeth was healthy. Conclusion: The distraction implant system has a high potential for osseointegration. Because of the gentle distraction technique and the possibility of using individual abutments at almost any angulation, satisfying esthetic and functional results are possible. The rate of complications was low in this short-term study. Int J Prosthodont 2003;16:19–24.

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