Consensus

Loading Protocols (2009)

Stuttgart 2008

Definition of Terms

Loading protocols were considered during a consensus meeting held at a congress in Barcelona, Spain, in 2002. The following definitions for implant loading were agreed upon by Aparicio and coworkers(1):

  • Immediate loading: The prosthesis is attached to the implants on the same day the implants are placed.
  • Early loading: The prosthesis is attached in a second procedure, earlier than the conventional healing period of 3 to 6 months. The time of loading should be stated in days/weeks.
  • Conventional loading: The prosthesis is attached to the implants in a second procedure 3 to 6 months after the implants are placed.
  • Delayed loading: The prosthesis is attached in a second procedure later than the conventional healing period of 3 to 6 months.

The Third ITI Consensus Conference, held in 2003 in Gstaad, Switzerland, modified the definitions as follows (Cochran et al, 2004,(2)):

  • Immediate loading: A restoration is placed in occlusion with the opposing dentition within 48 hours of implant placement.
  • Early loading: A restoration in contact with the opposing dentition and placed at least 48 hours after implant placement but not later than 3 months afterward.
  • Conventional loading: The prosthesis is attached in a second procedure after a healing period of 3 to 6 months.
  • Delayed loading: The prosthesis is attached in a second procedure that takes place some time later than the conventional healing period of 3 to 6 months.
  • Immediate restoration: A restoration inserted within 48 hours of implant placement but not in occlusion with the opposing dentition.

For a Consensus Conference of the European Association for Osseointegration (EAO), held in Zurich, Switzerland, in 2006, a review was presented by Nkenke and Fenner(3). The group accepted the following definitions:

  • Immediate loading: A situation in which the superstructure is attached to the implants in occlusion with the opposing dentition within 72 hours.
  • Conventional loading: A situation in which the prosthesis is attached to the implants after an unloaded healing period of at least 3 months in the mandible and 6 months in the maxilla.
  • Nonfunctional immediate loading and immediate restoration are used when a prosthesis is fixed to the implants within 72 hours without achieving full occlusal contact with the opposing dentition.

Cochrane reviews are recognized as a gold standard in evidence-based health care. Recently, Esposito and coworkers published an updated version of their systematic review regarding different times for loading dental implants, and based it on the following definitions(4):

  • Immediate loading was defined as implants in function within 1 week after their placement. No distinction was made between occlusal and non-occlusal loading.
  • Early loading was defined as putting implants in function between 1 week and 2 months after placement.
  • Conventional loading was defined as putting implants in function after 2 months.

For the purpose of the literature reviews, conclusions, and consensus statements for the 2008 ITI Consensus Conference, our group agreed to use the definitions of the 2003 ITI Consensus (Cochran and coworkers, 2004,(2)).

Following agreement on the definitions to adopt, the group then assessed if each review paper adequately addressed the respective topic of interest and whether the supporting literature selected by the reviewers was complete. Where missing, additional publications were made available for inclusion. The group then divided into smaller working units for detailed consideration of each treatment indication. A focus of discussion within the working units, and then within the group as a whole, related to the quality or level of evidence found for each indication, and what constituted adequate support for the group to make consensus statements and clinical recommendations.

The group’s consensus statements and recommendations were presented to the plenary sessions, where they were considered and discussed by all participants attending the conference. Subsequent to these discussions, final consensus statements and clinical recommendations were prepared. The final consensus statements and clinical recommendations follow.

References:(1) Aparicio C, Rangert B, Sennerby L. Immediate/early loading of dental implants: a report from the Sociedad Española de Implantes World Congress consensus meeting in Barcelona, Spain, 2002. Clin Implant Dent Relat Res 2003;5:57–60.(2) Cochran DL, Morton D,Weber HP. Consensus statements and recommended clinical procedures regarding loading protocols for endosseous dental implants. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2004;19(suppl):109–113.(3) Nkenke E, Fenner M. Indications for immediate loading of implants and implant success.Clin Oral Implants Res 2006;17(suppl):19–34.(4) Esposito M, Grusovin MG, Willings M, Coulthard P, Worthington HV. Interventions for replacing missing teeth: different times for loading dental implants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, issue 2. Chichester, UK: Wiley.

Consensus Statements

Reference:(1) Esposito M, Grusovin MG, Willings M, Coulthard P, Worthington HV. Interventions for replacing missing teeth: different times for loading dental implants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, issue 2. Chichester, UK: Wiley.

(2) Cochran DL, Morton D,Weber HP. Consensus statements and recommended clinical procedures regarding loading protocols for endosseous dental implants. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2004;19(suppl):109–113.

Clinical Recommendations

Edentulous Patients

For the edentulous mandible and maxilla, existing literature supports loading of micro-roughened implants between 6 and 8 weeks subsequent to implant placement with fixed or removable prostheses in the mandible, and fixed prostheses in the maxilla. Therefore, for the majority of patients, loading of dental implants for these indications and within this time frame should be considered routine.

  • A lower level of evidence exists to support loading of dental implants with maxillary overdentures for this time frame (6 to 8 weeks).
  • There is no evidence available at this time to support loading of dental implants in the edentulous arches between 2 and 6 weeks after implant placement.
  • For the edentulous mandible, the literature supports immediate loading of microroughened implants with fixed prostheses or overdentures.
  • This consensus statement is made with the understanding that the treatment is complex.
  • Treatment within this time frame, for the above indications, can be considered a valid treatment option for clinicians with the appropriate education, experience, and skill.

Conventional loading (greater than 2 months subsequent to placement) is recommended under specific conditions in the edentulous maxilla and mandible. These conditions include, but are not limited to, alveolar ridge augmentation, sinus floor elevation, and the presence of parafunction, maxillary overdentures, and compromised host status.

For the edentulous maxilla, the literature supports immediate loading of micro-roughened implants with fixed prostheses. This consensus statement is made with the understanding that the treatment is complex and can be considered a valid treatment option for clinicians with the appropriate education, experience, and skill.

Insufficient data exist to support immediate loading of dental implants with overdenture prostheses in the edentulous maxilla.

Partially Edentulous Patients

For the partially edentulous posterior mandible and maxilla, in the absence of modifying factors such as fresh extraction sockets, augmentation, and short implants, existing literature supports loading of micro-roughened implants between 6 and 8 weeks subsequent to implant placement. Therefore, for the majority of patients, loading of dental implants for these indications and within this time frame should be considered routine.

Conventional loading (greater than 2 months subsequent to implant placement) should be the procedure of choice for partially edentulous posterior sites (maxilla and mandible) when:

  • Stability is considered inadequate for early or immediate loading.
  • Specific clinical conditions exist, such as compromised host and/or implant site, presence of parafunction or other dental complications, need for extensive or concurrent augmentation procedures, sinus floor elevation.

For the partially edentulous posterior mandible, immediate loading of microroughened implants can be considered a viable treatment option. Caution is recommended in interpreting published outcomes for this indication, as inclusion and exclusion criteria are inconsistent, and many confounding factors are evident. Treatment within this time frame, for this indication, is complex and can be considered a valid treatment option for clinicians with the appropriate education, experience, and skill.

Insufficient evidence exists to support immediate loading of dental implants in the partially edentulous posterior maxilla.

While implant survival in partially edentulous sites in the esthetic zone does not appear to be affected by loading protocols, success criteria and patient-centered outcomes may be. As no data exist evaluating these aspects, clinical trials are recommended. For partially edentulous sites in the esthetic zone, loading of microroughened implants between 6 and 8 weeks after implant placement can be considered routine.

Immediate loading of microroughened dental implants can be considered a viable treatment option for partially edentulous sites in the esthetic zone. Treatment within this time frame, however, is complex and can be considered a valid treatment option for clinicians with the appropriate education, experience, and skill.

Conventional loading (greater than 2 months subsequent to implant placement) remains the procedure of choice for partially edentulous sites in the esthetic zone when:

  • Stability is considered inadequate for early or immediate loading.
  • Specific clinical conditions exist, such as compromised host and/or implant site, presence of parafunction or other dental complications, need for extensive or concurrent augmentation procedures, sinus floor elevation.

References

Publication date: Oct 13, 2014 Last review date: Oct 6, 2014 Next review date: Oct 6, 2017
  • 4th ITI Consensus Conference
  • Consensus Statement
  • Conventional Loading
  • Early Loading
  • English
  • Immediate Loading
  • Languages
  • Loading Protocols
  • Prosthodontic Planning & Procedures
  • Prosthodontics

ITI QR code Mvc

Share this page

Download the QR code with a link to this page and use it in your presentations or share it on social media.

Download QR code
QR code