A Qualitative and Quantitative Method for Evaluating Implant Success: A 5-Year Retrospective Analysis of the Branemark Implant
A proposed protocol and differentiated success criteria for long-term evaluation of oral implants are presented. The protocol and criteria were applied to a retrospective patient material treated during a 1-year period and followed for 5 years. The protocol comprised a two-stage analysis of the collected clinical data. First, a quantitiatve analysis of the otucome was made using a life table. Based on the information obtained during the follow-up, each implant was categorized into one of three groups: unaccounted for, failure, or survival. A qualitative analysis of the survival group was then performed by active testing against defined criteria. Depending on the modes of clinical and radiographi examinations and their results, surviving implants were either further assigned to one of three success grades or remained in the survival group. The data are presented in a four-field table at one level of success. Strict success criteria together with individual stability testing and radiographic examination of each consecutive implant should be used when a new implant system is evaluated or when a new application is explored. Radiography alone and more moderate success criteria may be used to document routine treatments, provided that an already well-documented implant system is studied.