Biomechanical, biologic, and clinical outcomes of undersized implant surgical preparation: A systematic review

Michele Stocchero, Marco Toia, Denis Cecchinato, Jonas P. Becktor, Paulo G. Coelho, Ryo Jimbo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To compile the current evidence on biomechanical, biologic, and clinical outcomes of undersized surgical preparation protocols in dental implant surgery. Materials and Methods: An electronic search using three different databases (PubMed, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library) and a manual hand search were performed including in vitro, animal, and clinical studies published prior to October 2015. Studies in which an undersized drilling protocol was compared with a nonundersized drilling protocol were included. Results: From an initial selection of 1,655 titles, 29 studies met the inclusion criteria, including 14 biomechanical, 7 biologic, 6 biologic and biomechanical, and 2 clinical. Due to methodologic variation, meta-analysis was not performed. Several studies showed that implants inserted with an undersized drilling approach reached a significantly higher insertion torque value than conventional drilling in low-density substrates, while this effect is less evident if a thick cortical layer is present. Similar results in terms of boneto- implant contact (BIC) were achieved in the longer term between implants inserted with undersized and nonundersized protocols. Results in the short term were inconclusive. Clinical studies did not show negative outcomes for undersized drilling, although clinical evidence was sparse. No data are available on marginal bone loss. Conclusion: From the biomechanical standpoint, an undersized drilling protocol is effective in increasing insertion torque in low-density bone. Biologic response in long-term healing after undersized implant placement is comparable to that in the nonundersized surgical drilling protocol. Clinical studies indicate that performing an undersized drilling protocol on low-density bone is a safe procedure; however, more extensive studies are needed to confirm these data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1247-1263
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016


  • Dental implant
  • Primary stability
  • Secondary stability
  • Surgical protocol
  • Systematic review
  • Undersized osteotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery


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