Caries and periodontal disease are considered a primary cause of tooth loss and extraction. Implant dentistry has improved the rehabilitation of edentulous patients providing a 10-year success rates of over 97%. However, the insertion torque, the superficial characteristics of the implants, and the heat generated during implant site preparation could represents a critical factor for early implant failure. Hence, monitoring the temperature during the insertion could be fundamental to predict the probability of success of the prothesis. Although several studies investigated the thermal effects of drilling and fixture placement, a comparative study between the thermal outcome of the insertion of implants with different diameter is missing. The objective of the study was to compare thermal changes, evaluated through infrared thermal imaging, induced by the insertion of narrow (3.0 mm x 10.0 mm) and regular (4.5 mm x 10.0 mm) implants in an animal bone model (swine ribs). An increase of the bone temperature was found for both narrow and regular implants. Moreover, a higher thermal effect was found for the narrow with respect to regular implants (p < 0.05), but always lower than the temperature limits of the bone necrosis. Although preliminary, these results confirmed that narrow implants are thermally and clinically safe.
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