Background: The aim of this longitudinal study was to evaluate the effect of combined treatment on early progressive bone loss around dental implants.
Methods: The study sample consisted of 18 implants presenting at 4–6 weeks post placement with early progressive bone loss. Clinical examination indicated the presence of a fistula in the soft tissue covering the implants in most cases. Defects around the implants were curetted, exposed implant surfaces were mechanically debrided and treated with tetracycline solution, and the defects were filled with bone graft and doxycycline powder. Bioabsorbable membranes were used. Final crowns were placed after 6 months. The patients were followed for an average of 30 months.
Results: The surgical sites healed without complication. At the time of loading, the defects were completely restored. At 12 months postloading, there was crestal bone loss to the level of the first thread (average, 1.3 mm). Pocket depths ranged from 3 to 5 mm (average, 3.6 mm) with no bleeding. No further changes were noticed throughout the remaining follow-up visits. All implants were successful according to the criteria proposed by Albrektsson and colleagues.
Conclusions: Early detection and treatment of early progressive bone loss around dental implants are the key to saving early failing implants. The author recommends reevaluation visits 4–6 weeks postimplant placement to detect any signs of early failure so that immediate treatment can be undertaken if needed.