When Does Bone Resorption Occur as Related to Implant Placement?

The tooth #15 is going to be extracted due to repeated furcal infection; the distal crest appears to be flat (Fig.1 ^).  Two and a half months post extraction, a 6x17 mm tap is placed (Fig.2) prior to placement of a 8x14 mm tissue-level implant (Fig.3).  It is apparent that the crest bone has started bone loss (^).

Four and a half months postop, bone resorption is slightly more severe (Fig.4) than immediately postop (Fig.3).  Fig.5 is taken 1.5 weeks post cementation.  Bone resorption appears to be halted 10 months (Fig.6) and 1.5 years (Fig.7) post cementation, respectively.  The implant threads remain unexposed 4 years 4 months (Fig.8) and 5 years 4 months post cementation.

It appears that once an implant is placed properly, bone does not resorb due to functioning.  The large implant may help reducing bone loss.

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Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 03/31/2015, last revision 12/20/2018