In many cases, due to anatomical limitations, the placement of regular-length implants cannot be facilitated without the performance of advanced surgical procedures. However, these are associated with morbidity, prolonged treatment time, and costs. To overcome such disadvantages, short implants were introduced. The aim of this prospective pilot split-mouth study was to compare the clinical outcome between short implants (7 mm) and regular-length (≥10 mm) implants placed in the posterior mandible after 1 year of prosthetic delivery. Ten patients received 4 implants in the posterior mandible. Two short implants were placed in one side and 2 regular-length implants were placed contralaterally. These were restored by means of splinted screw-retained metal-ceramic crowns. Marginal bone loss (MBL) and soft-tissue parameters were compared. No implant failed. Both types of implants showed success rates of 90% and survival rates of 100%. From prosthetic delivery to 1 year post-loading a bone gain of +0.29 mm for short implants and +0.19 mm for regular-length implants was present without showing any statistically significant differences in MBL between the 2 implant types (P > .05). Bleeding on probing, clinical attachment level, probing depth, and crown-to-implant ratio did not show any statistically significant differences between the 2 implant lengths (P > .05). One case of chipping occurred in the regular-length implant group, leading to a prosthetic survival rate of 95%. Short implants showed a prosthetic survival rate of 100%. After 1 year, short implants showed comparable clinical outcomes to that of regular-length implants, making them a viable treatment option in the posterior mandible.

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