Sinus floor elevation using implants coated with recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2: micro-computed tomographic and histomorphometric analyses
BACKGROUND Membrane elevation in combination with implant placement without biomaterials is a rather new technique proposed for sinus lifting. PURPOSE This study assessed the clinical outcome of such technique during the first year of loading. MATERIAL AND METHODS Fifteen patients with a mean residual bone height of 6.2 mm were consecutively recruited for sinus lifting. After opening a replaceable bone window, the membrane was dissected from the sinus walls. A total of 28 implants were placed in the residual crest and they kept the membrane lifted upwards. After window repositioning, the flap was sutured. A 6-month healing period was allowed. Patients were re-examined after 12 months of loading. RESULTS All the implants survived at the end of the follow-up. The 5.5 mm mean bone reformation was significantly lower than the 8.2 mm mean membrane lift achieved after implant placement. Regeneration at the distal surface of the most posterior implants was significantly less than at other aspects. The height of membrane lift was not correlated with the amount of regenerated bone. CONCLUSIONS All of the 28 implants placed in combination with sinus membrane elevation were stable during the first year of loading. No extra costs for biomaterial or morbidity for bone harvesting were necessary.