A long-term study confirms that implant follow-ups do help
PD Dr. Kristina Bertl, PhD MSc MBA
In line with phase 3 of the NIWOP approach (NIWOP [No Implantology without Periodontology] – consistent & long-term follow-up care) regular implant follow-up sessions should be planned and adhered after completing implant treatment. But what happens if the practitioner and/or patient does not adhere to this, and regular implant follow-up sessions do not take place?
Frisch et al. (2020) recently published an extremely interesting long-term study on this topic, which provides a very clear answer to this question. They included a total of 91 patients with 219 implants and divided them into two groups: (1) Patients who regularly attended implant follow-ups over the entire period of approximately seven years (48 patients with 98 implants), and (2) patients who did not attend regular implant follow-ups (43 patients with 121 implants).
After a follow-up period of approximately seven years, the following striking results were found:
- Among patients without implant follow-ups …
- ... the rate of peri-implant mucositis was more than twice as high (almost 70%!)
- ... the mean marginal bone loss was 50% higher
- ... the rate of peri-implantitis was more than four times as high
- Among patients with regular implant follow-ups …
- ... the rate of peri-implant mucositis was 30%
- ... the rate of peri-implantitis was only 4%
We can draw at least two important conclusions from these data:
- Among patients who do not attend regular implant follow-ups, the increase in risk for developing peri-implant disease is not only statistically significant, but above all clinically relevant.
- Even among patients do attend regular implant follow-ups, peri-implant disease can still occur. We must therefore regularly check such patients for the presence of peri-implant disease and, if necessary, immediately initiate the appropriate treatment.
An important factor in getting our patients to attend regular implant follow-ups is our ability to inform and motivate them appropriately (see also: Is compliance possible? Yes, if patients are informed and motivated!).
- Frisch E, Vach K, Ratka‐Krueger P. Impact of supportive implant therapy on peri‐implant diseases: A retrospective 7‐year study. J Clin Periodontol. 2020;47:101–109. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpe.13206