Objective: A randomized trial to assess clinical and radiographic
outcomes of short versus standard dental implants
placed with concomitant vertical bone augmentation.
Method and Materials: Patients requiring dental implants
were randomized to receive either 6-mm implants (experimental)
or 10-mm implants with vertical augmentation (control).
Custom load-bearing healing abutments were connected to
allow for indirect resonance frequency analysis measurements.
Standardized radiographs were taken at implant placement
(baseline), and at 3 and 12 months. Implants were restored
at 3 to 6 months, and final measurements were taken at
12 months. Results: Fifty patients with 25 implants per group
were included. Five implants failed, four experimental and one
control (84% and 96% cumulative survival rate, respectively).
Short implants required significantly less surgical time (51.6 ± 23 versus 68.5 ± 35 minutes, P = .05). Implant stability
quotients at baseline (67.9 ± 8.3 experimental and 70.8 ± 7.6
control, P = .215) and 12 weeks (70.17 ± 7.4 and 72.03 ± 5.9, respectively,
P = .513) were similar and unchanged. Positive correlation
was found between the two measurement methods
(r2 = .6, P = .025). One-year average marginal bone loss was
slightly lower for the experimental group (0.6 ± 0.16 mm) compared
to the control group (0.86 ± 0.19 mm); however, this was
not statistically significant (P = .287). Conclusion: Short dental
im plants may offer an alternative for implant placement in an
atrophic jaw; however, they are associated with reduced first-year
survival rate. Short dental implants should be used judiciously
in light of this potential predicament, and alternatives assessed.