Bone loss is the most essential cause of dental implant failure. Comparing to the conventional implants, short implants may fail more rapidly because of their reduced length, especially in case of crestal placement. 0.2 mm mean annual bone loss was recommended as a criterion for implant success. Due to bone loss, even under physiological functional loading, bone overload may occur, which, in turn, provokes complementary bone loss. These processes significantly worsen implant long-term prognosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare load-carrying capacities of the spectrum of fully and partially osseointegrated Bicon short implants to establish their prognosis in posterior maxilla under oblique functional loading. The concept of ultimate functional load (UFL) was proposed (Demenko et al., 2011) to compare load-carrying capacities of fully and partially osseointegrated (0.2 mm annual bone loss) 5.0 (S), 6.0 (M) and 8.0 mm (L) length and 5.0 mm diameter Bicon SHORT® implants. Their 3D models were placed crestally and bicortically in corresponding posterior maxilla segment models with type III bone. They were designed in Solidworks 2016 software and had 1.0 mm cortical crestal and sinus bone layers. Implant and bone were assumed as linearly elastic and isotropic. Elasticity moduli of cortical/cancellous bone were 13.7/1.37 GPa. Bone-implant assemblies were analyzed in FE software Solidworks Simulation. 4-node 3D FEs were generated with a total number of up to 2,532,000. 120.92 N oblique load was applied to the center of 7.0 mm abutment. Von Mises stresses (MESs) were evaluated for bone-implant assemblies to determine UFL magnitudes for fully and partially osseointegrated implants and compare them. Maximal MESs for fully osseointegrated implants (26…31 MPa) were found on the surface of crestal cortical bone. For partially osseointegrated implants they were discovered in migrating critical points inside crestal cortical bone (27…32 and 41…46 MPa for 0.2 and 1.0 mm bone loss). For fully osseointegrated implants, UFL magnitudes were 396…465 N. For partially osseointegrated implants and 0.2 bone loss, UFL magnitudes were 377…447 N, while for 0.4 mm – 356…417 N, for 0.6 mm – 327…366 N, for 0.8 mm – 314…356 N, and for 1.0 mm –294…336 N. So, after 5 years in function (1.0 mm bone loss), the following reduction of implant load-carrying capacity was determined: 26, 27 and 28% for S, M and L implants. Thus, all UFL magnitudes were much higher than mean maximal functional loading (120.92 N). Furthermore, for all scenarios, UFL magnitudes were above 275 N maximal functional loading for molar area. Finally, the difference between UFL magnitudes for S and M implants was approximately 5%. Short implant prognosis in terms of gradual bone loss is of crucial importance in implant dentistry. Studied Bicon SHORT® implants were found moderately sensitive to bone loss, at least for 5 years in function and 1.0 mm cortical bone thickness. They were also capable to withstand 275 N maximum functional loading for molar area. Their load-carrying capacity was not substantially dependent on implant length, at least within 5…8 mm, so this extends their application, especially in bone loss.
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