Immediate versus delayed loading of strategic mini-implants under existing removable partial dentures: patient satisfaction in a multi-center randomized clinical trial
The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare the effects of the immediate and delayed loading of strategic mini-implants (MIs) on the satisfaction of patients with removable partial dentures (RPDs).
In this multi-center randomized clinical trial, strategic MIs were inserted under 79 RPDs in 76 participants. Two questionnaires, one for the upper jaw and one for the lower jaw, were given before surgical intervention and 2 weeks, 4 months, 4.5 months, 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years after implant insertion. To estimate the loading effect (immediate vs. delayed) in terms of the odds ratio, an ordinal logistic regression model was used. The Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-rank test, which was corrected for clusters in the patient population, was used to evaluate changes in patient satisfaction.
After 4 months, a statistically significant difference in favor of the immediate loading group was recognized in terms of the overall satisfaction score. The patient satisfaction scores recorded after 4.5 months and 1, 2, and 3 years showed substantial improvements compared with the scores recorded before implant insertion in both groups. At the item level, substantial improvements were noted in the following domains: general satisfaction, RPD retention, stability, support, eating, speaking, and aesthetics.
Strategic MIs improved the satisfaction of patients with RPDs during the medium-term follow-up period. An earlier improvement in the satisfaction of patients with RPDs was seen after immediate loading of the MIs as compared with delayed loading.