Background. Since osseointegration depends on bone metabolism, low levels of vitamin D in the blood may negatively affect bone formation around dental implants. To date, only a few studies have investigated the possible connection between serum levels of vitamin D and early dental implant failure (EDIF), i.e. failure that occurs within 4 months after placement, before the connection of the prosthetic abutment. The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is a relationship between low serum levels of vitamin D and EDIF.
Methods. Data used for this retrospective study were derived from the records of a private dental clinic. Inclusion criteria were patients who had been treated with dental implants, inserted with a submerged technique from January 2003 to December 2017. EDIF was the outcome of this study. Chi-squared test was used to investigate the effect of patient-related variables (age, gender, smoking habit, history of periodontal disease and serum levels of vitamin D) on EDIF.
Results. Originally, 885 patients treated with 1,740 fixtures were enrolled in this study. Overall, 35 EDIFs (3.9%) were reported. No correlation was found between EDIF and the patients' gender (P=0.998), age (P=0.832), smoking habit (P=0.473) or history of periodontal disease (P=0.386). Three EDIFs (11.1%) were reported in 27 patients with serum levels of vitamin D <10 ng/mL, 20 EDIFs (4.4%) in 448 patients with levels between 10 and 30 ng/mL, and 12 EDIFs (2.9%) in 410 patients with levels >30 ng/mL. Although there was a clear trend toward an increased incidence of EDIF with lowering of serum vitamin D levels, no statistically significant difference (P=0.105) was found among these three groups.
Conclusion. Within its limitations (retrospective design, low number of patients with severe blood levels of vitamin D enrolled), this study failed to demonstrate a significant relationship between low serum levels of vitamin D and increased risk of EDIF. However, since a dramatic increase in EDIFs with lowering of vitamin D levels in the blood has been reported, further clinical studies with appropriate design (prospective or randomized controlled studies on a larger sample of severely deficient patients) are needed to better investigate this topic