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What are the long-term outcomes for the treatment of atrophic posterior maxilla? A systematic review of literature


Best Dental CareThis summary is based on the article published in Clinical Implant Dentistry and Related Research: Long-Term Outcomes for the Treatment of Atrophic Posterior Maxilla: A Systematic Review of Literature (February 2015)

Stefano Corbella, DDS, PhD; Silvio Taschieri, MD, DDS; Massimo Del Fabbro, BSc, PhD


  • An inadequate bone volume in the posterior maxilla is a frequent anatomical restriction for implant placement.
  • The loss of bone can strongly influence the choice of the most appropriate rehabilitation in edentulous patients.
  • Placement of dental implants in the atrophic posterior maxilla is a challenging procedure due to risk of violation of the maxillary sinuses during surgical procedures. 3, 4
  • Recent systematic reviews of the literature have demonstrated that sinus floor augmentation procedure is well documented with an overall implant survival rate well beyond 90%. 10–14
  • More recently, short implants (SIs) (less than10 mm long) were proposed as an alternative to sinus augmentation in order to rehabilitate posterior maxilla, allowing to reduce the occurrence of surgical complications and the impact on patients’ quality of life. 19–22

Purpose of the Review

To estimate the implant survival rate in different types of techniques for the rehabilitation of posterior atrophic maxilla, after at least 3 years of follow-up.

Key Messages

  • Sinus floor elevation with the lateral approach and with the osteotome technique is an effective and well-documented therapeutic option for the rehabilitation of atrophic posterior maxilla.
  • The use of short implants is promising but needs further investigation to be considered as effective as the other techniques in the long term.
  • However, the indication for the three different techniques is not perfectly equivalent and the treatment choice should be based on a careful evaluation of the individual case, in particular on the available residual bone.


List of references (PDF)


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