OBJECTIVE: The aim of this in vivo study is to compare the osseointegration of endosteal implants placed in atrophic mandibular alveolar ridges with alveolar ridge expansion surgical protocol via an experimental osseodensification drilling versus conventional osteotome technique. METHODS: Twelve endosteal implants, 4 mm × 13 mm, were placed in porcine models in horizontally atrophic mandibular ridges subsequent to prior extraction of premolars. Implants were placed with osseodensification drilling technique as the experimental group (n = 6) and osteotome site preparation as the control group (n = 6). After 4 weeks of healing, samples were retrieved and stained with Stevenel's Blue and Van Gieson's Picro Fuschin for histologic evaluation. Quantitative analysis via bone-to-implant contact (BIC%) and bone area fraction occupancy (BAFO%) were obtained as mean values with corresponding 95% confidence interval. A significant omnibus test, post-hoc comparison of the 2 drilling techniques' mean values was accomplished using a pooled estimate of the standard error with P-value set at 0.05. RESULTS: The mean BIC% value was approximately 62.5% in the osseodensification group, and 31.4% in the regular instrumentation group. Statistical analysis showed a significant effect of the drilling technique (P = 0.018). There was no statistical difference in BAFO as a function of drilling technique (P = 0.198). CONCLUSION: The combined osseodensification drilling-alveolar ridge expansion technique showed increased evidence of osseointegration and implant primary stability from a histologic and biomechanical standpoint, respectively. Future studies will focus on expanding the sample size as well as the timeline of the study to allow investigation of long-term prognosis of this novel technique.
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