An extensive comparison of more than 1,500 patients having undergone either minimal invasive surgery (i.e. flapless surgery) or standard surgery (i.e. flap surgery), has reached the conclusion that the general clinical outcome is not determined by the choice of surgical technique. This is according to an in-depth study recently published in the highly renowned, peer-reviewed Journal of Oral Research. Yet, the study did discover an important difference between the methods regarding the level of post-operative pain.
Surgical technique does not influence the general clinical results
The key finding of the study states that the surgical technique does not influence the general clinical results of dental implant surgery. Using several databases, scientists searched for articles covering and, in some instances, comparing, the two surgical techniques; flap surgery and flapless surgery. They found 32 articles that matched their requirements, providing them with databased on the treatment outcome of over 1,500 patients and 3,000 implants in both the upper and lower jaw. Once the research population was established, a qualitative comparison based on the parameters for implant surgery results namely implant success and survival rate, alveolar bone loss and post-operative complications was implemented.
Study shows comparable implant survival rate
The study concludes that the implant survival rate using flapped or flapless surgical technique is comparable. Further, it states that the occurrence of marginal bone loss is similar between the two surgical methods. The study also found that swelling (edema) did not occur to the same extent when using flapless surgery, although there was no major difference between the methods.
Less pain with flapless surgery
The only parameter significantly affected by the choice of surgical technique was post-operative pain, which was reported less frequently when flapless surgery had been performed. It goes without saying that achieving outstanding overall results is important, just as the patient’s wellbeing and experience is equally important to ensure an optimal implant treatment outcome. And a happy patient.
The study by Asadollahi R. et. al. is called “Dental implant placement with flapless and flapped technique: A systematic review.” and was published in J Oral Res 2018; In Press. doi:10.17126/joralres.2018.070
If you are interested in this type of surgery, read the article Flapless surgery—safe and efficient for implant treatment.