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Piezoelectric vs. conventional drilling in implant site preparation: pilot controlled randomized clinical trial with crossover design




To compare implant stability throughout osseointegration, peri-implant marginal bone loss, and success rates of implants placed with conventional and mixed drilling/piezoelectric osteotomy.

Materials and methods

A pilot randomized-controlled trial was performed on 15 patients. Each patient received two implants in the mandibular molar region. All sites were prepared with conventionally up to the 2.8 mm wide drill. Osteotomies were randomly finalized with a 3 mm diameter drill (control group) or with two consecutive ultrasonic tips (2.8 mm and 3 mm wide, respectively) (test group). Resonance frequency analysis measurements were taken at implant placement and after 1, 3, 8, and 12 weeks. Peri-implant marginal bone loss 12 months after loading was calculated using periapical radiographs. Wilcoxon test for related samples was used to study differences in implant stability and in peri-implant marginal bone loss between the two groups.


Twenty-nine of 30 implants osseointegrated successfully (one failure in the control group). Stability was significantly higher in the test group at the 8th week assessment; differences were non-significant at all other time-points. Longitudinally, differences were observed between the patterns of implant stability changes: in the test group stability increased more progressively, while in the control group an abrupt change occurred between the 8th and 12th weeks assessments. No difference was found in peri-implant marginal bone loss between the groups. All 29 implants were functionally successful at the 15-month visit.


Within the limit of this pilot study (small sample size, short follow-up), data suggested that implant stability might develop slightly faster when implant site osteotomy is performed with a mixed drilling/ultrasonic technique.

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