There has been an ongoing discussion as to which is better, the traditional dental implants ( 10mm or more) or short dental implants (5mm-8.5mm).
Naturally the answer is a little more complicated than ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and requires a bit of an explanation.
It has been shown that most of dental patients requiring implants have less than ideal bone height. This is naturally an issue when the traditional “long” implants are placed in the jaw bone, as there is not enough ‘give’ and the potential to harm the maxillary sinus and other nerves.
In some cases bone grafting can assist with the lack of bone height, but with this solutions comes with the high costs of bone grafting procedures, the risks it entails and the time required to implement them.
Many a times, Dentists are faced with the issue of maxamising success rates as well as limiting the complications of placing a longer implant where the alveolar ridge is reduced in height and the bone quality leaves much to be desired.
So why opt for Short Implants?
The use of short dental implants has proven achievable in patients which are apprehensive in undergoing augmentation procedures of sorts.
Several studies have shown that the use of short implants are easier to insert into the patients posterior regions and simpler osteotomy preparation.
Further more studies have shown that the use of short implants have resembling success rates to those of customary length dental implants.
Moreover it has been evident that the rehabilitation process with short dental implants is shorter (pun intended) and less complications occur subsequent to the implant being placed in patient’s posterior maxilla.
However, all this should be taken with a grain of salt as there have not been enough evidence yet to show that this is the case with all patients being treated with short implants.
In summary, it is safe to say that more time will be required in order to fully understand if there is indeed a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to which is best: Short dental implants or the longer traditional option.
It is clear that where a patient lacks the height and preferable bone quality, short implants are definitely becoming more and more an option to be considered.
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