J Korean Assoc Oral Maxillofac Surg 2021; 47(3): 153~174
Bone loss-related factors in tissue and bone level dental implants: a systematic review of clinical trials
Hamed Mortazavi1, Amin Khodadoustan2, Aida Kheiri3, Lida Kheiri4
1Department of Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran,
2Member of Iranian Association of Periodontology, Private Practice, Tehran,
3Student Research Committee, School of Dentistry, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran,
4Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan, Iran
Lida Kheiri
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, University Blvd, Arqavanieh, Jey Street, Isfahan 81595-158, Iran
TEL: +98-9132748055
E-mail: Kheiri91@gmail.com
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9471-9902
Received October 25, 2020; Revised January 19, 2021; Accepted February 5, 2021.; Published online June 30, 2021.
© Korean Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Dental implants are popular for dental rehabilitation after tooth loss. The goal of this systematic review was to assess bone changes around bone-level and tissue-level implants and the possible causes. Electronic searches of PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science, and a hand search limited to English language clinical trials were performed according to PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis) guidelines up to September 2020. Studies that stated the type of implants used, and that reported bone-level changes after insertion met the inclusion criteria. The risk of bias was also evaluated. A total of 38 studies were included. Eighteen studies only used bone-level implants, 10 utilized tissue-level designs and 10 observed bone-level changes in both types of implants. Based on bias assessments, evaluating the risk of bias was not applicable in most studies. There are vast differences in methodologies, follow-ups, and multifactorial characteristics of bone loss around implants, which makes direct comparison impossible. Therefore, further well-structured studies are needed.
Keywords: Alveolar bone loss, Bone-implant interface, Bone resorption, Dental implants, Dental implant-abutment design
I. Introduction

Bone loss following tooth extraction is an important issue that requires rehabilitation1-4. Treatments such as removable or fixed prostheses do not typically provide satisfactory functional and aesthetic outcomes1. Endosseous implants with predictable long-term success rates (SCRs) have become popular in overcoming the limitations of conventional treatments and improving the quality of life1,3,5.

Survival and SCRs of implants are related to surrounding bone quality, quantity, and preoperative mucosal tissue characteristics2,6. Patient age, oral hygiene, presence of dental plaque and microorganisms, implant location and features, surgical procedure, and prosthesis type are statistically significant factors for SCR7. Moreover, marginal bone around implants is affected by various factors including smoking, periodontal disease, socket condition, healing after insertion, and implant abutment microgaps8.

Many studies have analyzed ways to improve implant features since the macrostructure, microstructure, and biomechanical design of implants affect marginal bone-level changes and subsequent tissue interactions1,2,4. Roughened hydrophilic implant surfaces enhance bone healing, osteogenesis, and bone-implant contact (BIC) by accelerating cell migration, proliferation, and differentiation4,9,10. SLActive surfaces have been created by coarse grit blasting and acid etching in order to promote fatigue strength with the mechanism of stabilizing blood clots in the defect area without affecting osseointegration1,4,11.

Two types of implants have been introduced based on their macrostructure characteristics: bone-level (BL) and tissue-level (TL). BL types are placed with the neck of the implant at the level of the crestal bone and can cause marginal bone loss (MBL) following bacterial contamination or inflammation12,13. Therefore, the TL design has been proposed to eliminate inflammation and subsequent bone loss. However, it may cause a gray metallic shadow through the soft tissue because of the metallic tulip-shaped shoulder12,13. BL implants are the implant of choice in esthetic areas since they can be placed more apically and create a desired emergence profile14,15. It has been reported that SLActive BL implants induce bone apposition4.

Implants are designed to be used as a one-piece or two-piece instrument. More crestal bone loss in two-piece implants may be due to microgaps at the implant-abutment interface for bacterial colonization of the implant sulcus or establishment of an adequate dimensioned biologic width (BW) to be associated with marginal bone resorption16,17. The implant–abutment microgap is possibly related to the precision fit between the implant components subsequent to the implant system design and the torque used to connect the components17. Researchers have attempted to introduce designs to eliminate the microgaps18. The gaps and the following disadvantages have been diminished using TL implants12,13. One-piece implants could provide a more effective seal against microbial leakage by reducing the size of the microgaps resulting in a reduction in inflammatory reactions around the implant-abutment interface and subsequent marginal bone resorption19. The abutment-fixture connection (AFC) is an important factor for the long-term stability of implants and hard and soft tissue due to the presence of microgaps14,20. Therefore, the prevention of microbial leakage at the AFC is a major challenge for the construction of two-piece implant systems to minimize inflammatory reactions and to maximize peri-implant bone stability21.

The most common AFCs are external hexagonal, internal hexagonal, conical, and mixed17,21. All the connections exhibit a certain amount of microgaps and bacterial microleakage, although fewer are seen in the conical and mixed connection systems21. The most favorable results have been reported when implants with an internal Morse-taper connection have been utilized, resulting in minimal bacterial leakage to the threaded aspect of the AFC. However, dynamic loading increases the potential for such bacterial penetration17,21. Platform-switching has been introduced as a method to shift the stress inward and enhance hard tissue stability, papilla maintenance, and the soft tissue seal16,19,22-25. A study reported 0.7 mm versus 2.5 mm bone loss compared to the conventional connection design after 6 months of loading while the other design exhibited 0.12 mm versus 0.29 mm bone loss after one year16. Another assessment demonstrated no bone loss after 2 years16. Until now, no implant system or connection design has been able to provide a perfect outcome at the AFC.

Minimizing bone loss both horizontally and vertically around implants, which is essential for good aesthetic outcomes of implant treatment, has been the most challenging issue in implantology. Therefore, the aim of the present systematic review is to review and compare BL changes after the insertion of BL and TL designs of implants and assess factors affecting bone loss.

II. Materials and Methods

This systematic review was conducted according to the Cochrane Handbook PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis) guidelines.

All clinical trials which focused on BL change after the placement of BL or TL implants were included. The search was limited to English-language studies up to September 2020. Abstracts, letters, and reviews were excluded.

Type of participants: Any humans with edentulous regions in one or both jaws with BL and TL implant placements were included. Studies which focused on the soft tissue, aesthetic results, or did not mention bone resorption for each kind of implant separately were excluded.

Type of interventions: Studies that had used one or more BL or TL implants were included. Studies were excluded if they had focused on biomechanical features or the survival rate (SVR) of implants or had evaluated implant stability and micromotions.

Type of outcome measures: BL changes after implant insertion were reported by measuring MBL (mm), mean bone fill (mm2), BIC (mm), new bone height (mm), and mean bone level (mm).

Information sources: Our electronic database consisted of PubMed/MEDLINE, Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science. Additionally, a hand search was performed to assess publications that were not electronically distinguished.

Search strategy: An electronic search was performed in order to select relevant studies using the following terms: “bone level implant”, “tissue level implant”, “bone level implant” AND/OR “tissue level implant”, “bone/tissue level implant” AND “marginal bone loss”, “bone/tissue level implant” AND “bone resorption”, and “bone/tissue level implant” AND “marginal bone level change”.

Study selection: Two independent authors conducted the search based on the aforementioned keywords. In addition, they carried out the initial screening of titles and abstracts from selected studies in accordance with the eligibility criteria. Any disagreement between the authors was resolved following a discussion with the third author (periodontist).

Data collection process: Review and data extraction were performed according to the PRISMA flow diagrams. Two authors also reviewed full texts of the articles and extracted all the data independently.

Data items: Results and data extracted from the included studies were classified in tables with the following columns: study type, study design, implant placement area, bone results, non-related bone results, measurement device, defect model, and follow-up.(Tables 1-3)

Risk of bias assessment: The criteria used for assessing the quality of the included studies was obtained from the Cochrane Center. The provided guidelines consisted of the following parameters: random sequence generation, allocation concealment, blinding of participants and personnel, blinding of outcome assessment, incomplete outcome data addressed, and selective reporting. The degree of bias was categorized as low risk, unclear risk, and high risk. The risk of bias was evaluated independently by two masked reviewers. All disagreements were resolved by consensus.

III. Results

After the initial search, 173 articles were obtained. Following the removal of duplicates and irrelevant studies, a total of 97 studies were selected. Full texts of the selected articles were screened and with respect to eligibility criteria, 59 studies that either were in vivo or had focused on soft tissue results, biomechanical features, or implant stability with no bone-related reports were excluded. Finally, 38 articles were included in our systematic review.(Fig. 1) Data were extracted and further classified in three separate tables.(Tables 1-3) Table 1 consists of 18 studies that used only BL implants and 10 articles that used TL implants were placed in Table 2. Table 3 comprises 10 studies that compared BL change results of both BL and TL implants.

Patient sex, age, and number: Among the included studies, 10 did not mention patient sex1,10,22,23,26-31. Between all the studies mentioning mean age, maximum mean ages in Tables 1-3 were 65.81, 54.6332, and 6030, respectively, while minimum amounts were 3324, 3628, and 3933 in order.

Comparing patient numbers in the studies, the highest number of patients in a single study was 88125 with the lowest being 13 in another study10,31. Only 2 studies did not indicate the number of patients22,28.

Implant numbers: Various implant numbers were reported. The highest and lowest implant numbers used in the studies were 90813 and 169 in Table 1, 1,692 25 and 1634 in Table 2, and 33729 and 3231 in Table 3, respectively.

Study design: Various methodologies had been used in the included articles. Seven studies utilized implants with SLActive surfaces1,9,10,13,22,28,35, while 7 studies focused on the platform switched implants effects5,23,24,36-39. Two articles inserted implants with both mentioned characteristics15,19.

Seven studies applied grafts in their surgical procedures2,16,40 in which 4 of them indicated the use of autogenous bone grafts5,15,41,42. In addition, 10 studies mentioned guided bone regeneration (GBR) in their methods3,8,9,19,20,25,26,43-45.

Implant placement areas: In 10 articles, implants were inserted in the maxilla10,15,16,19,23,24,33,34,43,45, while 4 studies chose the mandible as the placement area1,6,28,31. In 22 studies, implants were inserted in both jaws2,3,5,8,13,20,25-27,29,30,32,35-42,44,46. Two studies did not state which jaw was used9,22.

Measurement devices: The majority of studies used only periapical radiographs to estimate bone resorption around the implants3,6,9,13,15,16,19,22,27,33-37,39,43. Four studies utilized cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) images10,28,29,44, while 3 studies used panoramic images1,32,42. A combination of panoramic plus periapical images and CBCT plus periapical images were used in 6 studies2,5,24,25,30,40 and 4 studies31,38,45,47, respectively. One article evaluated MBL through the help of CBCTs, panoramics, and periapical images8, while another used panoramics, periapicals, and computed tomography (CT) scan images5. One study reported a radiological device to measure bone levels, but did not provide specifics20. Only one study used a morphometric method26, while one did not mention the measurement device23.

Follow-ups: Follow-up duration varied widely. In Table 1, the shortest and the longest follow-ups were one month43 and 5 years8, respectively; in Table 2, these values were 3 months28 and 15 years32, respectively. The longest period of follow-up was 7.8 years33, while the shortest period was 3 months31 among the studies that used both BL and TL implants.

Bone results: Bone status after implant insertion varied. A large number of studies indicated bone loss5,6,16,19,20,22,24,25,27,33,39,40-43. MBL and BL changes were presented in 13 studies2,5,8,15,24,25,28-31,36,38,47 and 11 studies1,3,9,15,22,23,32,34,37,42,45, respectively. Other bone results involved reports of BIC36 and distances from implant shoulder to the first BIC (DIB)35,39,43,45. Two studies reported both MBL and mean bone loss25,30. In one article, hard mineralized tissue at the crestal level was evaluated26, while another study reported the correction percentage of vertical defects after GBR and TL implant insertion44.

Non-related bone results: Ten studies reported SVR2,6,8,19,24-26,36,42,44, while one article mentioned only SCR10. Both SVR and SCR were reported in 10 studies1,3,5,9,13,15,30,35,40,41. Other outcomes included reports of probing depths (PD) in 10 studies9,16,20,23,24,32,35,43,45,47, plaque index (PI) in 4 studies1,32,35,43, bleeding on probing (BOP) in 2 studies20,47, and pink esthetic scores (PES) in 5 studies9,20,23,34,45.

Risk of bias assessment: The evaluation of risk of bias is presented in Fig. 2 and 3. For 23 studies, randomization and blinding of participants, personnel, and outcome assessments were not applicable. Therefore, among 15 articles, 60%, 47%, and 30% of studies exhibited low risk in selection bias, performance bias, and detection bias, respectively. In relation to attrition bias and reporting bias, the majority of the studies showed no incomplete data or selective data reporting.(Fig. 2, 3)

IV. Discussion

Although implant placement is the preferred treatment method for tooth loss, the reason for MBL remains controversial. MBL induces pocket formation and affects peri-implant tissue health24. In this review, parameters related to BL change after implant insertion are discussed in detail based on comparison of the included studies.

1. Patient-related factors

Individual differences: Significantly more MBL has been reported in females after 10 years, which may depend on differences such as factors influencing bone physiology and sex steroid hormones that provide harmony between bone formation and resorption with alterations in osteoclastogenesis and osteoblastogenesis42. Age and sex varieties may have an impact on autologous bone grafts43. Other factors such as smoking, periodontitis, and infection in sockets should be excluded in order to increase the homogeneity and reliability of the results of the clinical trials8.

Bone quality and quantity: Implant insertion in severely resorbed ridges may lead to more failures2. BL implants were successful in low-density bone after early loading protocols10. Interestingly, Marković et al.10 suggested that bone quality had no significant effect on the SVR of nonstructured and hydrophilic implants48. Lower primary stability and higher secondary stability have been evidenced in bone with lower density. However, no significant difference in secondary stability was reported by Makowiecki et al.28, which may be due to the differences in implant type and bone density. In their study, implants with more aggressive threads were inserted in bone type D1 as a study group and in bone type D2 as a control group. Maintaining a definite conclusion about the effect of bone density on implant stability remains difficult48.

Soft tissue type and thickness: When the preoperative situation is compromised and the patient is realistic, the patient may be satisfied with the final result even when the outcome of an objective aesthetic index is poor23.

Preoperative mucosal tissue thickness may be a major etiology in crestal bone loss6. According to Puisys and Linkevicius6, implant design and surface treatment does not have a significant impact on crestal bone levels if mucosal tissue is thin during implant insertion. Therefore, it can be hypothesized that when initial mucosal thickness is insufficient, BW with bone loss forms before loading. Therefore, a certain minimum width of peri-implant mucosa may be required6,22. Although a high degree of satisfaction was observed in all subjects in whom allogenic membranes were used for vertical thickening of the soft tissues, thickened soft tissue may become thinner with time6. If mucosal tissue is ≤2 mm, significant bone loss may occur6. Soft tissues with thin biotypes exhibited more desirable outcomes even though thick, soft tissues have been more resistant to inflammation and trauma due to the different blood supply to the bone33. It has been suggested that BL implants be used in areas with transparent soft tissue to obtain better esthetic results33. Wallner et al.33 reported negligible bone loss when a steady state has been achieved after the first phase of remodeling. They proposed that neither soft tissue type nor implant design affects peri-implant bone levels33.

2. Implant-related factors

Implant type: BL implants provide more varieties of gingival formers during surgery with the margin of the abutment being adjusted at the time of prosthetic treatment8. In the study by Gao et al.15, after 6 weeks, surrounding bone loss was observed in all implants except for one that was placed above the alveolar crest shoulder. Interestingly, Gao et al.15 noticed not only <0.5 mm bone resorption at the crestal level of BL implants which was less than other reports, but also 3 cases with bone gain. Despite BL types which are placed at the crestal level with BW being set in a more apical position, TL implants reduce the recession of barrier epithelium and connective tissue depending on its position to the bone crest22. In addition, TL implants locate the AFC transmucosally, which demonstrates minimal bone alteration, but with compromising soft tissue esthetics because of the possibility of becoming visible. Therefore, BL implants are used more frequently in esthetic areas19,27. On the other hand, TL implants with a convergent collar exhibited proper esthetic outcomes and stable hard and soft tissues during follow-ups in the anterior maxilla which can increase tissue thickness with being directly cemented on the implant neck and providing space for the connective tissue section of the supracrestal tissue attachment27,34. Another advantage of the TL type is the ability to be detected easier during osseointegration with more favorable handling8.

Implant platform design: Crestal bone loss might be due to microgaps at the AFC for bacterial colonization of the implant sulcus or establishment of an adequate dimensioned BW to be associated with MBL at regions with a thin mucosa34. This biological process is altered by repositioning the outer edge of the AFC horizontally more inwardly and away from the outer edge of the implant platform leading to the introduction of the platform-switching design, in which a smaller-diameter prosthetic component is connected to a larger-diameter implant platform39. The impact of platform switching on long-term crestal bone preservation remains controversial19. Canullo et al.16 introduced the relationship between platform switching design and the amount of MBL that could be attributed to a wider space for the horizontal repositioning of BW and/or a better distribution of loading stress at the BIC9,13,16,20. The limitation of the study was that it only involved information on altering crestal mesial and distal bone loss especially vertically, not buccally and palatally16. Vanlıoğlu et al.24 demonstrated that BL implants with platform switching resulted in minimal bone resorption at the crestal level during functional loading. However, some implants exhibited an increase in bone height. On the other hand, BL implants with the platform switched design demonstrated a negative influence on crestal bone levels in comparison to TL implants41. Despite the evidence of higher crestal bone stability in platform switched BL implants by Fernández-Formoso et al.39, higher SVR in TL implants with the platform matched design compared to platform switched BL implants was shown in another study (98% vs 96.1% after 5 years)39,49. Comparing BL and TL implants with non-platform switched designs placed in the same graft type, similar SVR and peri-implant bone resorption were observed5,41. Less MBL has been demonstrated in Astratech implants with platform switched designs compared to Straumann TL implants after 12 and 36 weeks31. Therefore, long-term studies evaluating the clinical efficacy of platform switched designs are still necessary23,33,36.

3. Treatment procedure and follow-up related factors

Bone augmentation: The graft type seems to be the most important factor influencing graft resorption5,41. More bone resorption has been shown in cancellous bone which could be harvested from the iliac5,41. Demineralized bovine bone mineral (DBBM) granules will not be resorbed during the natural bone remodeling process and thus will help maintain the dimensions of the facial bone wall over time45. Synthetic bone substitute material induced significantly higher vascularization than xenogenic bone, but after 6 months, new bone formation was not different50. In the study performed by Le and Borzabadi-Farahani44, mineralized allograft provided sufficient strength and shape in 61% of cases.

Similar implant stability and peri-implant bone changes were evidenced using the same BL implants (Astratech) with one study in fresh sockets and the other with GBR20. Likewise, Fretwurst et al.42 found similar BL changes in implants placed in both augmented and non-augmented areas. Buser et al.45 did not demonstrate change in DIB overtime and showed that GBR successfully established a facial bony wall in 95% of patients that was maintained for a mean of 7 years.

Less favorable esthetic outcomes were demonstrated in augmentation areas, which may be due to imperfect preoperative situations or the formation of scar tissue. However, no significant differences were reported in marginal BL change23. Submerge techniques plus bone augmentation prevent overloading and bacterial contamination8.

Choosing the best alveolar bone grafting technique remains a challenge. Bone graft shrinkage may occur following remodeling. Therefore, it is advised to overcorrect the augmentation site and use a vertical incision in the flap to advance the flap coronally and support the graft44. Grafting at the time of implant insertion reduces the number of invasive procedures and treatment time44.

Location of the crestal portion of the implant: The crestal positioning of the implant’s rough surface has been correlated with a greater maintenance of peri-implant bone compared to subcrestal positioning22. The supracrestal location of AFC limits bacterial access to the attachment and reduces the inflammatory response from bacterial contamination. Therefore, less MBL occurs during early phases16,27. Kumar et al.29 demonstrated more MBL in deeper implants, which may depend on more stress distribution on the crestal bone and greater distance of the inflammatory infiltrate to the crestal bone. It is possible to place TL implants at greater depth33. On the other hand, less bone loss was reported in BL implants compared TL implants, but this was not significant, while in another study, significant lower MBL was observed in TL implants, which may be due to longer follow-up periods29,47.

Implant placement protocol: MBL after surgical trauma is accepted particularly in the submerging protocol of BL implants15. Implants can be inserted in 3 ways: immediate, early, and late43. Controversies exist in the hard and soft tissue results of immediate implant placement43. Many immediate implants with recession have no facial bony wall in the long term, even though immediate placement is only recommended in patients with low risk factors in the placement area43,45. Due to the lack of a facial bony wall around two implants, these two have no osseointegration in the facial aspect45.

Loading protocol: Immediate placement containing functional and non-functional (1 week), early (1-2 weeks), and conventional (more than 2 months) loading are known as the loading protocols9,24,43. In contrast to previous studies, immediate loading exhibited a tendency for better long-term implant SCR9,51. Even though nonfunctional loading helps diminish early overload, similar MBL and implant failure were reported between these two types of immediate loading9,24. Successful functional early loading was reported without an increased risk of failure despite low bone density10. Early loading of platform switched BL implants is associated with minimal MBL and successful peri-implant mucosal architecture24. It has been demonstrated that modified surface topography makes immediate or early loading possible even in areas of lower bone quality9,10.

Radiography: Although radiography is the most widely used method to measure remaining bone height, distortion, superimposition, artefacts, and magnification are several known shortcomings27,52. CBCTs offer excellent image quality with diminished radiation exposure compared to CT scans45. Despite the proper accuracy of CBCTs in the presence of sufficient bone thickness, further studies are required to evaluate the accuracy in areas of insufficient bone52. Likewise, it has been demonstrated that CBCTs have low accuracy in assessing buccal bone width when the bone thickness is <0.5 mm44. Although Lago et al.36 reported that platform switching may preserve crestal bone levels and maintain soft tissue in esthetic zones, radiographic crestal bone levels are only an indirect measurement of esthetics outcome and thus platform switching does not necessarily directly improve esthetics.

Follow-up periods: Maintenance through follow-up visits is essential. However, a wide range of follow-up visits are reported. Straumann TL implants exhibited minimal changes in MBL during the follow-up periods, among which the maximum follow-up duration was 10 years25.

V. Conclusion

There are several inconsistencies among studies and methodologies that limit precise comparisons. Bone alterations have been reported in different ways involving mean bone resorption, MBL, percentage of BL change, and the amount of BL change. Therefore, it makes exact comparisons impossible. Multifactorial characteristics of peri-implant bone resorption and diversity among implants and patients leads to a heterogeneity of results and cannot be applied to clinical indications. Clinicians must notice patient demands and attempt to choose the most proper implant design based on clinical demands. Researchers should use patients who share common situations such as receiving similar prostheses, requiring augmentation, receiving same implant types, and the rehabilitation of similar edentulous areas to reduce systematic errors and potential bias. Biomaterial-related tissue reactions remain unclarified. The short-term nature of the results, limited sample size, and radiographic measurements of mesial and distal crestal BL changes are several limitations. Therefore, comparative long-term randomized clinical trials and a large number of patients are required.

Authors’ Contributions

H.M. participated in study design and performed analysis. A.K. (Amin Khodadoustan) participated in data collection. A.K. (Aida Kheiri) participated in data collection and wrote the manuscript. L.K. wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Conflict of Interest

No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

Fig. 1. Search strategy flowchart.
Fig. 2. Risk of bias assessment.
Fig. 3. Risk of bias assessment.

Studies on inserted BL implants

Study Study
No. of implants Study
Implant placement area Bone results Other results Measurement device Sex & age
Andreasi Bassi et al.2 (2016) Prospective 52 Cylindrical & tapered Internal hexagonal
Bone graft
Mean MBL: 77%
Mean peri-implant bone loss: 0 mm
SVR: 100%
Worse results only in implant supporting bridges.
21 F/31 M
Mean age: 54
44.6 mo (mean)
Filippi et al.13 (2013) Prospective multicenter non-interventional 908 SLActive Max/Man
No change in crestal BL (62.2% & 61.8% mesial & distal)
BL change >1 mm in <5% of implants (4.5% & 3.9% mesial & distal)
Bone growth around 3% of cases (3.3% & 3% mesial & distal)
SVR: 98.5%
SCR: 96%
PA 852 (55.6% F/44.2% M)
Mean age: 53.7
1, 2 & 3 yr
Wu et al.8 (2018) Retrospective 114 Internal hexagonal
Fresh socket
GBR (30 patients)
A: submerged
B: nonsubmerged
No differences in MBL
Mean MBL:1st yr (majority of MBL): A: 1.20 mm B: 1.17 mm5th yr: A: 1.98 mm B: 1.94 mm
Mean MBL <1.5 mm within the 1st yr
Mean MBL between 1 & 5 yr:A: 0.78 mm B: 0.77 mm
SVR:A: 94%B: 96%
No difference in failure time.
Implants with a diameter of 3.0 mm: lower SVR
42 M/30 F
55 patients <60 yr, 17 patients >60 yr
Annually for 5 yr
Ghazal et al.3 (2019) Prospective RCT 47 TiZr SLActive
T: narrow (3.3 mm)
C: standard diameter (4.1 mm)
Mean BL change:6 mo: similar12 mo: T: –0.27 mm C: –0.48 mm SCR & SVR: 100%
No differences in gingival recession & patient satisfaction.
PA 50 (M 36%/F 64%)
Mean age: 51.2
6 & 12 mo
Lorenz et al.20 (2017) Retrospective follow-up 47 GBR (synthetic bone graft: HA & b-TCP) Max/Man Mean bone loss: 0.55 mm(range, 0-3 mm) Low median rates for PD (2.7 mm) & BOP (30%)
Mean PES: 10.1 from 14.
Radiological 11 F/9 M
Mean age: 58.5
36-48 mo
Postloading Mean: 42.6 mo
Lago et al.36 (2017) Prospective clinical 67 Platform switched Max/Man
Post (premolar)
Mean MBL: Baseline to 1 yr: 0.06 mm1 to 5 yr: 0.23 mmBaseline to 5 yr: 0.28 mm
No difference from baseline to 1 yr.
BIC:Baseline: 0.64 mm1 yr: 0.59 mm5 yr: 0.35 mm
Soft tissue:
Papilla tip to contact point distance: Baseline: 2.08 mm 1 yr: 1.54 mm 5 yr: 1.31 mm
Difference between 1 & 5 yr & baseline & 5 yr
No difference in buccal margin.
PA 20 M/15 F
Mean: 47.1
1 & 5 yr
Buser et al.43 (2009) Prospective case series 20 Sand-blasted & acid-etched surface
Ant (single tooth)
12 mo: Mean bone loss: 0.18 mm (1 implant with bone loss >0.5 mm & 15 with minimal bone loss [< 0.25 mm])
Mean DIB:3 mo: 0.09 mm 6 mo: 0.14 mm12 mo: 0.18 mm
12 mo:
PI: 0.36
SBI: 0.26
PD: 4.43 mm
Facial DIM: –3.53 mm
No severe recession (1 mm)
PA 5 M/15 F
Mean age: 41.7
1, 3, 6, 12 mo
Santing et al.23 (2013) Prospective cohort 60 Platform-switched
A: augmented
B: non-augmented
Ant (single tooth)
18 mo: Mean BL change: –0.10 mm No differences between A & B. Mean PD: 2.57 mm
Less favorable in A.
NM 60
>18 yr
7 & 18 mo
Gao et al.15 (2017) Open-label single-arm observational 22 Platform switched & SLActive +autogenous bone Max
Ant (single tooth) (tooth position: 14-24)
MBL:Most implants (95.5%) <0.5 mm & one (4.5%) with 2.12 mm change from baseline to 36 mo (mean, 0.07 mo)
Crestal BL decreased, from 2.34 mm at baseline to 1.70 mm at 36 mo.
SCR: 100%
SVR: 100%
Functional SCR: 95.5%
Increase in mean stability from provisional & final prosthesis.
Facial gingival margin & papilla: stable
Mean PD: 12 mo: 1.26 mm 24 mo: 1.02 mm 36 mo: 1.40 mm
PA 8 M/13 F
Mean: 44.97
6, 12, 24, 36 mo
Flores-Guillen et al.19 (2018) Prospective RCT 30 SLActive
Platform switched
A: Submerged
B: Transmucosal +GBR
Non-molar sites (single tooth)
Mean bone loss:A: 0.59 mm B: 0.78 mm
Similar bone gain after 1 yr.
5 yr: Bone loss of <1 mm in 76.7% of implants.
A: greater bone loss for 1 yr (0.73 mm) than 1-5 yr (–0.10 mm)
B: 0.73 mm (1 yr) & 0.04 mm (1-5 yr)
SVR: 100%
Peri-implantitis (crestal BL ≥2 mm) & BOP only in one patient.
Similar responses with significant increase in PI in mesial & distal papillae.
PA 23 M (57.5%)
17 F (42.5%)
Mean age: 48.5
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 yr
Vanlıoğlu et al.24 (2014) Clinical trial 55 Platform switched Max
Ant (single tooth) (central to premolar)
Successful integration of all.
MBL <0.5 mm for all.
Mean bone loss at final recall: 0.12 mm (No significant difference)
No difference in MBL in Zr & Ti abutments.
7 implants with increase in level of bone contact.
MBL: Baseline: 0.08 mm 1 yr: 0.1 mm 2, 3, 4 yr: 0.12 mm
SVR: 100%
Complete papilla fill in 89.09%
Mean PD: Baseline: 2.1 mm 2, 3 yr: 2.2 mm 4 yr: 1.9 mm
23 F/24 M
Mean: 33
2, 3, 4 yr
Chiapasco et al.5 (2012) Clinical trial 60 Platform switched
Autogenous cortical grafts from ramus or calvarium
Max/Man(post & partial edentulous vertical & horizontal defects) Mean bone loss before implantation: 0.18 mm (calvarial grafts) 0.42 mm (ramus grafts)
Mean MBL after implantation: 0.41 mm (calvarial grafts; mostly 0 mm) 0.52 mm (ramus grafts; mostly 0-1 mm)
SVR:100% for both groups
SCR:90.3% in calvarial graft93.1% in ramus grafts
12 F/6 M
18 to 69 yr
Mean: 49.1
12-36 mo post loading
Mean: 19 mo
Donos et al.9 (2019) Prospective, single blind
16 SLActive
T: Immediately provisiona­lized with non-occluding temporary crown
C: Left without a crown+GBR
Esthetic area
(single tooth)
Mean BL change from baseline:T: 12 mo: –0.62 mm (peak of bone loss) 36 mo: –0.42 mm 48 mo: –0.41 mm 60 mo: –0.42 mmC: 12 mo: –0.18 mm 36 mo: –0.10 mm 48 mo: –0.24 mm 60 mo: –0.37 mm 60 mo: similar bone loss. SVR: 100%
SCR:C: 77.8% (36 mo), 88.9% (48 mo) & 66.7% (60 mo)
Mean PD changes:T: Only limited changesC: more pronounced changes, more improvements in PES, soft tissue contour & mesial papilla
Largest differences in PD change: 48 mo (T: 0.9 mm, C: 1.6 mm) & 60 mo (T: 1.43 mm, C: 2.2 mm).
PA 5 M/11 F
Mean:48.9 (T) & 49.6 (C)
36, 48 & 60 mo
Marković et al.10 (2015) Prospective Clinical 37 SLActive Max
Continuous & significant bone loss: 0.4 mm
0.5 mm or higher around 2 implants
SCR: 100%
Stability at baseline: 71.7 (increased to 1 yr [80.3], except at 2 wk with a nonsignificant decrease [71.9])
Mean age: 47.1
1 yr
Canullo et al.16 (2010) RCT 69 Platform diameters:C: 3.8 mmT1: 4.3 mmT2: 4.8 mmT3: 5.5 mm +bone substitute Max
Inverse correlation between the extent of mismatching & amount of bone loss.
Inverse correlation between MBL & abutment-implant diameter.
Mean bone loss: 21 mo: C: 1.49 mm T1: 0.99 mm T2: 0.82 mm T3: 0.56 mm33 mo: No difference with 21 mo data except for T2 (0.87 mm) & T3 (0.64 mm).
PD <3 mm
PA 17 M/14 F
Mean age: 52.1
9, 15, 21, 33 mo
Al-Nawas et al.1 (2012) Double blind, prospective RCT 178 A: Ti13Zr
B: Ti Grade IV small-diameter, SLActive
Overdenture(No graft)
Man(interfora­minal region) 6 mo: most BL changes:A: –0.23 mmB: –0.23 mm
12 mo:A: –0.34 mmB: –0.31 mm
No differences in PI & SBI.
12 mo:SVR: 98.9% (A) & 97.8% (B)SCR: 96.6% (A) & 94.4% (B)
Panoramic 91
Mean age: 65.8
6 & 12 mo
Puisys and Linkevicius6 (2015) Prospective controlled clinical trial 97 Vertical gingival thickness:
T1: thin, 2 mm or less
T2: thin thickened with allogenic membrane
C: thick, >2 mm
Bone loss:2 mo: T1: 0.75 mm mesially & 0.73 mm distally. T2: 0.16 mm mesially & 0.2 mm distally. C: 0.17 mm mesially & 0.18 mm distally.1 yr: T1: 1.22 mm mesially & 1.14 mm distally. T2: 0.24 mm mesially & 0.19 mm distally. C: 0.22 mm mesially & 0.20 mm distally.
Significant differences between T1/T2 & T1/C mesially & distally.
SVR: 100% PA 28 M/69 F
Mean age: 47.3
2 mo
Postloading& 1 yr
Nóvoa et al.22 (2017) Clinical trial 60 SLActive
Abutment heights:C: 1 mm T: 2.5 mm
NM Bone loss up to:C: 1.3 mm T: 0.33 mm
Mean BL change:1 yr: C: 0.82 mm T: 0.2 mm2 yr: C: 1.27 mm T: 0.22 mm3 yr: C: 1.23 mm T: 0.35 mm
- PA - 1, 2 & 3 yr

(BL: bone level, Max: maxilla, Man: mandible, Ant: anterior, Post: posterior, MBL: marginal bone loss, SVR: survival rate, PA: periapical, F: female, M: male, SCR: success rate, GBR: guided bone regeneration, CBCT: cone-beam computed tomography, RCT: randomized clinical trial, HA: hydroxyapatite, b-TCP: beta-tricalcium phosphate, T: test, C: control, PD: probing depth, BOP: bleeding on probing, BIC: bone-implant contact, PES: pink esthetic score, SBI: sulcus bleeding index, DIM: distance from the mucosal margin to the implant shoulder, ICAI: implant crown aesthetic index, NM: not mentioned, Ti13Zr: Titanium13 Zirconium, DIB: distance from implant shoulder to the first BIC, PI: plaque index)

Studies on inserted TL implants

Study Study
No. of implants Study
placement area
Bone results Other results Measurement device Sex & age
Kang et al.25 (2018) Retrospective radiographic observational 1,692 GBR in 7.7%
Sinus graft in 6.7%
Overall bone loss:3 yr: 0.07 mm5 yr: 0.09 mm7 yr: 0.14 mm9 yr: 0.17 mm
14 implants with pathologic MBL >2 mm.
2 implants were removed with progressive MBL (5.5 & 7.5 yr).
5 implants showed early bone loss >1 mm within 1st yr but then showed a stable MBL.
In 7 implants, bone loss started after 1st yr & progressed continuously.
Implant diameter affected MBL.
>99% of implants showed <1 mm bone loss in 3 yr, 1.9% >1 mm bone loss. Implants with >3 mm bone loss: only after 5 yr.
SVR: 98.2% Panoramic
881 (496 M/385 F)
Mean age: 52.2
10 yr
Mean: 5.3 yr
Buser et al.35 (2012) Retrospective 511 SLActive Max/Man
Partially edentulous
Sufficient BV in 70% of implant sites.
17.6% of implants had insufficient crest width.
Mean DIB: 3.32 mm
49.5%: between 2.51 & 3.50 mm (no or minimal bone loss).
11.3% <2.5 mm (no bone loss or gain).
34.9%: between 3.51 & 4.5 mm (moderate bone loss).
4.4% >4.51 mm.
Latter two subgroups:
narrow radiolucent gap along implant surface in crest.
SVR: 98.8%
SCR: 97.0%
Mean PI: 0.65
Mean PD: 3.27 mm
Mean SBI: 1.32
Mean DIM:–0.42 mm.
PA 303 (160 F, 52.8%/143 M, 47.2%)
Mean age: 48
10 yr
Friedmann et al.26 (2011) Randomised controlled, single-blinded pilot clinical trial 73 Lateral augmentation & GBR
Biphasic CaP+ membranes: T: ribose cross linked coll membranes C: non-cross- linked mem branes
Gain in clinically hard MT at crestal level: T (lateral defects): 1.8 mm C (lateral defects): 0.7 mm T (vertical defects): 1.1 mm C (vertical defects): 0.2 mm
Second measurement:
Lateral defects:(median width gain): T: 3.0 mm C: 2.1 mm (median vertical gain): T: 2.5 mm C: 2.7 mm
SVR: 100%
Soft tissue dehiscences at 70.5% & 55% frequency for T & C
Morphometric 37
Mean: 53
6 mo
Ladwein et al.32 (2015) Clinical cross-sectional analysis 967 A: NKM
No difference in vertical BL.
Of Post implants, 40.3% showed NKM.
Of Ant implants, 30.4% showed NKM.
Mean KM width: 1.87 mm.
A: more PI & SBI
No difference in PD:
PD mesial A: 3.78 mm
B: 3.61 mm
Panoramic 211 (97 M/114 F)
Mean: 54.63 (maximum:78)
Mean: 7.78 yr
(4-15 yr)
Le and Borzabadi-Farahani44 (2014) Clinical trial 156 Transmucosal implant/Simultaneous GBR (allograft)
Vertical defect: A: small (<3 mm) B: medium (3-5 mm) C: large (>5 mm)
Localized buccal wall of bone defects
Significant differences in simultaneous grafting with different pre-treatment vertical defect sizes.
Two graft failures (one needed regrafting) & 2 implant failures.
Complete correction of 100% & 79.3% of A & B.
C: only partial improvement in 90% of cases, without any complete correction.
SVR: 98.1% CBCT 108 (38 M/70 F)
Mean: 46.7
36 mo
Fretwurst et al.42 (2015) Retrospective 150 Onlay graft (anterior superior iliac crest) Max/Man
Partially edentulous/edentulous with severe alveolar ridge resorption & remaining BV of <5 mm in height
Mean crestal bone loss:
10 yr: 1.8 mm (>5 mm increase).
Significant difference between sex & crestal bone loss, but no influence of implant system, diameter, & patient age.
10 yr mean BL change:
F: 2 mm (range, 0.5-4 mm)
M: 1 mm (range, 0.5-2 mm)
Max: 96%
Man: 92%
Total: 95%
Panoramic 32 (22 F/10 M)
Mean age: 52
Mean: 69 mo
(range, 12-165 mo)
(Graphy at 1, 3, 5, 10 yr)
Agustín-Panadero et al.27 (2019) Prospective observational 42 A: convergent transmucosal collar
B: divergent collar
Post (molar & premolar)
Mean bone loss (total) (significant difference):A: 0.29 mmB: 0.6 mm
Mesial areas (No significant difference):A: 33.3% (0.32 mm)B: 47.6% (0.42 mm)
Distal areas (significant difference):A: 38.1% (0.26 mm)B: 66.7% (0.78 mm)
Mean bone loss:Man (significant difference): A: 0.19 mm B: 0.72 mmMax (similar) A: 0.36 mm B: 0.51 mm
A: Same bone loss in both jaws regardless of areas.
- PA 21 2 yr
Buser et al.45 (2013) Prospective, cross-sectional 41 GBR Max
Ant(central to premolar)(single tooth)
PA: Stable peri-implant BL & mean DIB: 2.18 mm.
CBCT: mean thickness of facial bony wall: 2.2 mm & mean thickness from 1.58 to 2.33 mm.
85% of implants: bone loss or bone gain within –0.8 & 0.8 mm.
4.9% of implants had no facial bony wall.
Mean PES: 7.49
Mean WES (more stable than PES): 6.88
Mean PD: 4.26 mm
DIM: –3.42 mm (1st examination) & –2.21 mm (2nd examination)
41 (25 M/16 F)
Mean age: 38.8
5 to 9 yr
(mean: 7 yr)
Canullo et al.34 (2020) Prospective 16 Convergent collar Max
Mean BL change: 0.071 mm SVR: 100%
PES (mean):
Mesial papilla: 1.69
Distal papilla: 1.81
Total: 8.5
PA 15 (11 M/4 F)
Mean age: 54.6
3 yr
Makowiecki et al.28 (2017) Comparative preliminary 30 T: short with hydrophilic surfaces
C: SLActive(early & delayed loading)
3 mo:Significant difference in primary stability & MBL. C (higher MBL): 0.53 mm T: 0.37 mm
6 mo: No significant difference in secondary stability. C: 0.57 mm T: 0.51 mm
C: No differences in MBL between 3 & 6 mo.
- CBCT Mean age:
T: 36
C: 45.5
12 & 24 wk

(TL: tissue-level, GBR: guided bone regeneration, Max: maxilla, Man: mandible, Ant: anterior, Post: posterior, MBL: marginal bone loss, SVR: survival rate, PA: periapical, M: male, F: female, BV: bone volume, DIB: distance from shoulder to the first bone-implant contact, SCR: success rate, PI: plaque index, PD: probing depth, SBI: sulcus bleeding index, DIM: distance from the mucosal margin to the implant shoulder, CaP: calcium-phosphate, T: test, C: control, MT: mineralized tissue, NKM: nonkeratinized mucosa, CBCT: cone beam computed tomography, BL: bone level, WES: white esthetic score, PES: pink esthetic score)

Studies that inserted both BL & TL implants

Study Study type No. of implants Study design Implant
placement area
Bone results Other results Measurement device Sex & age
Kumar et al.29 (2014) Retrospective clinical 337 BL: 179
TL: 158
12, 24, 36 mo:
Mean MBL:
BL: 0.3, 0.38, 0.48 mm
TL: 0.6, 0.54, 0.9 mm
No significant difference at 6-12 mo & slightly greater in TL.
Deeper implants showed more bone loss.
BL: implant shoulder very near crestal bone (range, −0.71 to +0.78 mm; mean, +0.007 mm) TL: shoulder 0.43 to 2.73 mm above crestal bone margin (mean, 1.65 mm)
- Panoramic 129 12, 24, & 36 mo
Chiapasco et al.41 (2012) Prospective 51 TL: 13
BL: 38
Autogenous vertical onlay grafts from calvarium or ramus
Ant/Post(horizontally deficient edentulous ridge)
Mean bone resorption: 0.52 mm (0-1 mm) in constructed areas0.41 mm in calvarial grafts
Mean bone resorption prior to implant placement: 0.18 mm for calvarial & 0.42 mm for ramus grafts
SCR:90.3% (calvarial grafts)93.1% (ramus grafts)
SVR: 100%
18 (6 M/12 F)
Mean: 49.1
12-36 mo(mean, 19 mo)
Chiapasco et al.40 (2014) Retrospective 192 TL: 97
BL: 95
Autogenous onlay grafts (ramus, iliac, calvaria)
Vertical or 3D defects of edentulous ridges
Mean bone resorption: TL: 0.23 mm in ramus grafts, 0.36 mm in iliac grafts, 0.35 mm in calvarial grafts. BL: 0.48 mm in ramus grafts, 1.34 mm in iliac grafts, 0.35 mm in calvarial grafts SVR: 100%
TL: 100%
BL: 86.8%(93.5% in ramus grafts, 90.3% in calvarial grafts & 76.4% in iliac grafts)
Overall complications:
TL: 0%
BL: 5.4%
50 (16 M/34 F)
Mean age: 49.5
12-68 mo postloading(mean, 33 mo)
Lopez et al.30 (2016) Retrospective cohort 150 Cylindrical
76 in F
74 in M
Mean MBL: 92%.
Mean bone loss: 0 mm
Mean bone loss:BL: 0.12 mm TL: 0.04 mm
SVR: 98.7%
SCR: 92%
Mean age: 60 Mean: 84 mo
Vianna et al.47 (2018) Prospective, split-mouth RCT 40 TL: 20
BL: 20
Mean MBL up to 24 mo: TL: 0.75 mmBL: 0.70 mm
Implant insertion:TL: 1.48 mmBL: 0.08 mm
Prosthesis Installation:TL: 2.22 mmBL: 0.67 mm
6 mo:TL: 2.32 mmBL: 0.62 mm
24 mo:TL: 2.14 mmBL: 0.77 mm
No significant difference for PI & BOP.
80% of sites in both with at least one bleeding site at 12 mo & 90% at 24 mo.
Similar PD
20 (with history of chronic periodontitis)(6 M/14 F)Mean age: 49.13 Implant insertion, Prosthesis
installation, 6 & 24 mm postloading
Fernández-Formoso et al.39 (2012) RCT 114 TL: Standard matched
BL: Platform switched
Mean bone loss (significant difference): BL: 0.01 mm TL: 0.42 mm
Mean of DIB (significant difference between groups):
TL: 0.42 mm (significant difference)
BL: –0.01 mm (no significant difference)
- PA 54
TL: 25 (16 F/9 M)
Mean age: 43.7
BL: 26 (17 F/9 M)
Mean age: 42.9
1 yr
Lago et al.38 (2018) RCT 197 TL: Platform matched
BL: Platform switched
Mean MBL:TL: Baseline to 1 yr: 0.26 mm 1 to 5 yr: 0.34 mm Baseline to 5 yr: 0.61 mm
BL: Baseline to 1 yr: −0.03 mm 1 to 5 yr: −0.17 mm Baseline to 5 yr: −0.20 mm
Significant difference between groups: Baseline to 1 yr: 0.31 mm 1 to 5 yr: 0.53 mm Baseline to 5 yr: 0.85 mm
TL:1 yr: 100%5 yr: 98%
BL:1 yr: 99%5 yr: 96.1%
54 M/46 F
Mean age: 50.5TL: 50 (31 M/19 F)
Mean age: 47.9BL: 50 (23 M/27 F)
Mean age: 53.1
1 & 5 yr after definitive restoration
Lago et al.37 (2019) Split-mouth RCT 100 TL: Platform matched
BL: Platform switched
Crestal bone changes:
Baseline to 3 yr:BL: 0.18 mmTL: 0.15 mm
Mean:Baseline to 1 yr: 0.07 mm1 to 3 yr: 0.01 mmBaseline to 3 yr: 0.04 mmOnly significant difference in TL from baseline to 3 yr.
- PA 35 (15 M/20 F)
Mean: 49.5
1 & 3 yr after definitive restoration
Wallner et al.33 (2018) Clinical trial 42 TL: 20
BL: 22
1.9 yr: BL: 14 implants with thick biotype & mean bone change of –0.03 mm & 8 with thin biotype & change of 0.09 mm.
Total mean bone change: +0.02 mm
4.9 yr: TL: 12 implants with thick biotype & mean bone loss of 0.21 mm & 8 with thin biotype & mean bone loss of 0.05 mm.
Total mean bone loss: 0.015 mm
- PA Human
41 (28 F/13 M)
TL: mean age, 39
BL: mean age, 45
Mean:4.9 yr
(11 mo to 7.8 yr)
Hadzik et al.31 (2017) Comparative 32 Short implants
BL: 16
TL: 16
(lateral aspect)
MBL:BL Primary stability:BL: 77.8TL: 66.5
Secondary stability: BL: 78.9TL: 73.9
A: 7 (mean age, 45.9)
B: 6 (mean age, 46.3)
12 & 36 wk

(BL: bone level, TL: tissue level, Max: maxilla, Man: mandible, Ant: anterior, Post: posterior, MBL: marginal bone loss, IDIP: initial depth of implant placement, SCR: success rate, SVR: survival rate, PA: periapical, M: male, F: female, GBR: guided bone regeneration, RCT: randomized clinical trial, PI: plaque index, BOP: bleeding on probing, PD: probing depth, CBCT: cone-beam computed tomography, DIB: distance from shoulder to the first bone-implant contact)

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Current Issue

30 June 2021
Vol. 47
No. 3 pp. 151~236

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