Immediate single-tooth implants in the anterior maxilla: 3-year results of a case series on hard and soft tissue response and aesthetics

Jan Cosyn, Aryan Eghbali, Hugo De Bruyn, Kristiaan Collys, Roberto Cleymaet, Tim De Rouck
Journal of Clinical Periodontology 2011, 38 (8): 746-53

PURPOSE: The objective of this prospective study was to assess the overall outcome of immediate single implant treatment in the anterior maxilla after a 3-year observation period.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Thirty consecutively treated patients with a thick gingival biotype, ideal gingival level/contour and intact socket walls at the time of tooth extraction were treated for single-tooth replacement in the aesthetic zone by two experienced clinicians. Treatment included minimal mucoperiosteal flap elevation, immediate implant placement (NobelReplace TiUnite(®)), insertion of a grafting material between the implant and the socket wall and connection of a screw-retained provisional restoration. The latter was replaced by a cemented crown 6 months thereafter. Patients were clinically and radiographically re-examined after 3 years to assess implant survival, complications and hard and soft tissue conditions. The aesthetic outcome was objectively rated using the Pink Esthetic Score (PES) and White Esthetic Score (WES) by a blinded clinician who had not been involved in the treatment.

RESULTS: Twenty-five patients could be re-evaluated after 3 years. One early implant failure had occurred resulting in an implant survival rate of 96%. Radiographic examination yielded on average 1.13 mm mesial, respectively 0.86 mm distal bone loss. The clinical conditions showed fairly low peri-implant plaque (18%) and bleeding (24%) and mean probing depth was 3.17 mm. Mean mesial/distal papilla shrinkage and midfacial soft tissue recession in reference to the pre-operative status accounted for 0.05, 0.08 and 0.34 mm, respectively. Between the 1- and 3-year reassessment mesial papillae showed significant re-growth (0.36 mm; p=0.015). Advanced midfacial recession (>1 mm) was found in 2/25 (8%) cases. Five (21%) cases were aesthetic failures (PES<8 and/or WES<6) and 5/24 (21%) showed an (almost) perfect outcome (PES≥12 and WES≥9). The remainder (14/24 or 58%) demonstrated acceptable aesthetics.

CONCLUSIONS: The proposed strategy seems a valuable and predictable treatment option for well-selected patients in the mid-long term as shown by almost full papillary re-growth and a low risk for advanced midfacial recession.

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