• bone augmentation;
  • bone level;
  • dental implant;
  • maxilla;
  • microbiology


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to document the long-term outcome of Brånemark implants installed in augmented maxillary bone and to identify parameters that are associated with peri-implant bone level.

Material and Methods: Patients of a periodontal practice who had been referred to a maxillofacial surgeon for iliac crest bone grafting in the atrophic maxilla were retrospectively recruited. Five months following grafting, they received 7–8 turned Brånemark implants. Following submerged healing of another 5 months, implants were uncovered and restorative procedures for fixed rehabilitation were initiated 2–3 months thereafter. The primary outcome variable was bone level defined as the distance from the implant-abutment interface to the first visible bone-to-implant contact. Secondary outcome variables included plaque index, bleeding index, probing depth, and levels of 40 species in subgingival plaque samples as identified by means of checkerboard DNA–DNA hybridization.

Results: Nine out of 16 patients (eight females, one male; mean age 59) with 71 implants agreed to come in for evaluation after on average 9 years (SD 4; range 3–13) of function. One implant was deemed mobile at the time of inspection. Clinical conditions were acceptable with 11% of the implants showing pockets ≥ 5 mm. Periodontopathogens were encountered frequently and in high numbers. Clinical parameters and bacterial levels were highly patient dependent. The mean bone level was 2.30 mm (SD 1.53; range 0.00–6.95), with 23% of the implants demonstrating advanced resorption (bone level > 3 mm). Regression analysis showed a significant association of the patient (p < .001) and plaque index (p = .007) with bone level.

Conclusions: The long-term outcome of Brånemark implants installed in iliac crest-augmented maxillary bone is acceptable; however, advanced peri-implant bone loss is rather common and indicative of graft resorption. This phenomenon is patient dependent and seems also associated with oral hygiene.