Simultaneous vertical ridge augmentation (VRA) can reduce treatment procedures and surgery time, but the concomitant reduction in primary stability (PS) of a shallow-placed implant imparts risk to its prognosis. Although several studies have reported improvements in PS, there is little information from any simultaneous VRA model. This study aimed to evaluate whether tapered implants with stepwise under-prepared osteotomy could improve the PS of shallow-placed implants in an in vitro model of simultaneous VRA. Tapered implants (Straumann® Bone Level Tapered implant; BLT) and hybrid implants (Straumann® Bone Level implant; BL) were investigated in this study. A total of 80 osteotomies of different depths (4, 6, 8, 10 mm) were created in rigid polyurethane foam blocks, and each BLT and BL was inserted by either standard (BLT-S, BL-S) or a stepwise under-prepared (BLT-U, BL-U) osteotomy protocol. The PS was evaluated by measuring maximum insertion torque (IT), implant stability quotient (ISQ), and removal torque (RT). The significance level was set at P < 0.05. There were no significant differences in IT, ISQ or RT when comparing BLT-S and BL-S or BLT-U and BL-U at placement depths of 6 and 8 mm. When comparison was made between osteotomy protocols, IT was significantly greater in BLT-U than in BLT-S at all placement depths. A stepwise under-prepared osteotomy protocol improves initial stability of a tapered implant even in a shallow-placed implant model. BLT-U could be a useful protocol for simultaneous VRA.
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