Dental implant-supported restorations have long been used as a successful modality for replacing missing teeth. There are two well-established methods of implant placement. The traditional approach to implant surgery involves raising a mucoperiosteal flap and the alternative approach does not involve reflecting a flap, each having its own advantages and disadvantages. The purpose of the present study was to compare and evaluate the soft and hard tissue changes around endosseous implants placed using flap and flapless surgery in mandibular posterior edentulous sites over a period of time.
Materials and methods
A total of 20 systemically healthy patients with a single edentulous site in the posterior mandible were enrolled in this study and 20 endosseous implants were placed (10 in the flap group and 10 in the flapless group). The peri-implant probing depth was assessed. Radiographic assessment was done for changes in the marginal bone levels at the mesial and distal side of the implant with measurements made at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months. Patient-centered outcomes were assessed by using the visual analogue scale (VAS). All these parameters were statistically analyzed using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test, paired Student t test, and two-way ANOVA test and were considered to be significant if the p value was ≤ 0.05.
Twenty patients were enrolled in the present study and endosseous implants were placed. Eighteen subjects were followed up throughout the study period and two patients were excluded from the study. The mean PD in the flapless group was comparatively less than the flap group at 12 months and was found to be statistically significant. During the observation period of 12 months, reduction of crestal bone height around the implants placed by flapless and flap surgery were statistically significant. The flapless group showed less change in the crestal bone height which was statistically significant compared to the flap group. The mean VAS score on day 0 in the flap and flapless group was statistically significant. The flapless group showed significantly less pain when compared to the flap group.
Although the flapless technique of endosseous implant placement had statistically significant less PD, bone loss, and pain than the flap technique, the difference was found to have uncertain clinical significance.