ABGs are well-established and widely used in the reconstruction of edentulous jaws affected by severe atrophy . Autogenous bone harvested from intraoral and/or extraoral sites are associated with reliable prognosis . In cases with large bone defects, when intraoral bone harvest cannot provide sufficient bone graft volume, the use of extraoral donor sites becomes inevitable. Along with autogenous bone from other donor resources, bone from the iliac crest is used for augmentation in a wide spectrum of ABG cases. In this study, all included patients had a condition of severe bone defect due to previous osteomyelitis treatment, cancer ablation, or severe atrophy. The extremely low residual bone volume made the SDI placement is impossible. Another considered solution, alveolar distraction osteogenesis, also had many disadvantages in these cases due to multi-dimension deficit, therefore was not indicated. With the utilization of IBG, the augmented sites gained a generous bone volume, both vertical and horizontal dimension, which ease the implant installation and provide a comparable outcome.
Despite its advantages, onlay bone grafts from the iliac crest are associated with high bone resorption, which is highest during the early healing phase [5, 14]. While bone volume is known to decrease in general, vertical bone height resorption is well established as a major complication . The high reported resorption rates are potential late complications and their effects on the survival rate of implants placed in grafted bone are being scrutinized.
In this study, the MRR after 5 years was 42.5%. This resorption rate is within the range of results reported by other authors. Johansson et al.  reported reductions of bone graft volume ranging from 47 to 49% in a clinical study of atrophic maxillae after 6 months of healing. Some authors have reported resorption rates ranging from 12 to 60% during follow-up from 1 to 5 years post-loading of implants . The resorption rate reported in the present study is high, but the vertical bone gain after augmentation surgery was generous, and resorption occurred mostly during the first year after reconstruction. The resorption rates after 2 years, 3 years, and 5 years did not differ significantly, and these resorption rates are therefore predictable and acceptable. In the early healing period, when a graft is integrating and immobilizing at the recipient site, proliferating cells can penetrate the transplanted bone and the bone may become vascularized [22,23,24]; the dominant process is inflammation and seems to lead to bone resorption during the early period. The resorption rate at 5 years post-installation slightly decreased. This change could be the result of the lack of bone height data from patient no. 7 and the slight incorrection of the panoramic radiograph. However, there was no significant difference between resorption rate at 5 years and 3 years post-installation. A bigger sample with long-term follow-up will be needed to verify the finding.
Many studies have demonstrated the success of dental implant systems placed in iliac bone [25,26,27]. The survival rates of implants placed in the augmented bone range from 60 to 100%, with the majority of reported survival rates being at least 90% . In this study, 1 of 29 implants failed, and the survival rate was 96.56%. MBL is a generally accepted parameter that is often used to evaluate long-term clinical results. A mean MBL of ≥ 1.5 mm in the first year and MBL of ≥ 0.2 mm per year after that are considered the threshold for implant success . In this study, the mean MBL after the first year was 0.85 ± 0.44 mm, the mean cumulative MBL after 5 years was 1.12 ± 0.50 mm, and the MBL change each year was not greater than 0.2 mm. These MBL results are within the threshold indicating success ; however, longer-term follow-up is needed to verify our results.
In many reports, greater MBL is often observed after implant placement and the first year of function than the following years . Adell et al.  reported that after the first loading year, the MBL decreased significantly to an average of only 0.1 mm. In our studies, the early MBL (from implant placement to early post-loading period) is also observed and recorded. The MBL difference from the previous time point at 3 months post-installation, prosthetic loading, and after 1-year post-installation differed significantly and peaked at 1-year post-installation. These data at 2 years, 3 years, and 5 years post-installation follow-up decreased to an average of 0.1–0.15 mm per year and did not differ significantly.
In this study, there were three groups regarding prosthetic indication, including bridge, hybrid denture, and overdenture. However, the MBL change at 5 years post-installation did not differ significantly between the three prosthetic groups (p < 0.05). Besides the prosthetic indication, other factors such as prostheses material, opposing dentition or prostheses, and position of installed implant were various. In the present study, the small sample size is a limitation to assess and evaluate the effect of these factors to the MBL. Therefore, further studies in larger samples of patients are warranted to validate our findings.
The etiology of greater MBL during healing and early of implant loading period is still investigated. Some authors suggested that bone loss may occur if the occlusal loading is excessive . In our clinical experience, to prevent the early MBL, the occlusal loading control plays an important role. Unlike natural teeth, implant fixtures are osseointegrated to the bone without the periodontal ligament. The implants are more sensitive to the overload occlusal forces than natural teeth and more susceptible to the MBL at the early loading period when the implant-to-bone interface is immature. This suggested a well-controlled occlusal contact when the prosthetic is fabrication and delivery, which can reduce the overstress on the implant, and meanwhile provide a progressive occlusal force for the bone formation and maturation.
Controversy remains regarding whether implant placement should be performed immediately after graft placement, or if it should be delayed after bone grafting. Most previous studies reported better results for the two-stage than the one-stage approach . The hypothesis is that after a period of bone healing and revascularization, integration of the implant will be more favorable and stable. Some other authors have suggested that one-stage surgery is preferable because it reduces the number of surgical interventions and healing time . However, there have also been reports of the high and unpredictable rates of bone resorption for the one-stage approach , which can lead to poor primary implant stability and poor prosthetic orientation. Meticulous case evaluation is recommended before using this technique.
Different methods for the assessment of alveolar bone height have been commonly used in periodontal research and practice. Even though the cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) and intra-oral radiograph are considered as the gold standards for observation and measurement of the periodontal bone loss, the panoramic radiograph also was proved that it has a comparable accuracy, especially with the help of digital correcting and measuring software, along with the convenience and time-saving advantages. Persson et al.’s study was to assess the agreement between intra-oral and panoramic radiograph. According to the result of this study, intra-oral and panoramic radiograph readings are in great agreement . In another research, Takeshita et al. evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of conventional periapical radiography taken with film holders Rinn and Han-Shin, digital periapical radiography with complementary metal-oxide semiconductor sensor (CMOS), panoramic radiography, and CBCT in the measurement of alveolar bone loss. The authors concluded that compared with the control measurements, only conventional periapical radiography using Han-Shin film holder showed significant lower differences, whereas the values of CBCT were the closest to the control method . Therefore, the result reported using panoramic radiograph in this study is comparable and, in part, can substitute for the CBCT or intra-oral radiograph.
In case no.4, the patient has endured an old trauma with naso-maxillary fracture and fracture in the left mandibular body. After that, due to a bone defect in the left mandibular angle area, this area is re-fixation, after which the occlusion was similar to the status before the initial trauma. However, 1 year after hybrid implant prosthesis loading, in a follow-up recall, the patient was found to have developed a slight malocclusion. Slight occlusal adjustment was needed to treat the patient. He was free of symptoms and had unrestricted mandibular motion after that. In addition, in this patient, the augmentation and implant hybrid prosthesis were placed in both maxillary and mandibular. It is well established that the bone resorption rate of the maxilla is pretty higher in the mandible. Therefore, after prosthetic loading 1 year (the period between T2 and T4), the dramatical increasing of bone loss is explainable. After the first loading year, the resorption rate returns to the same rate as in other patients (Fig. 5).
Based on 10 years of experience, we here recommend treatment considerations and techniques to reduce bone resorption. The bone graft should be modeled for precise adaptation to the recipient site. A wax stent can be used to determine adequate graft size and contour. Cortical bone should be taken longitudinally and the thick side placed on the mesial surface of the mandible. An oversized graft should be harvested to maintain sufficient graft volume after the initial resorption phase. The recipient site should be perforated with a 1.0-mm round bur to increase the blood supply. Cancellous bone should be compressed and packed between the graft bone and the recipient site. The grafted bone block should be fixed firmly to the basal bone with titanium miniscrews. If the graft is not fixed and immobilized well, the strain on the newly forming tissues and resorptive areas of the graft will be too great to allow new bone formation. We used 1.5-mm or 2-mm round drills for countersinking. The schedule for implant installation should be 3 to 6 months after reconstructive surgery. Even though an extended healing period can result in more stable bone condition, rehabilitation of the implant and prosthesis is essential to preserve the grafted bone. Beside the osseointegration, the soft tissue integration is also essential for the long-term success of the implant and prosthesis. A soft tissue barrier, which is obtained by the adaption of attached tissue around the transmucosal implant structures, is important for establishing a stable peri-implant soft tissue as well as crestal bone. The implant surgeon can achieve this goal with a careful evaluation and meticulous strategy to maintain the existing attached gingival zone at the installation site formed after the bone graft healing period, by a proper flap design and soft tissue manipulation.
Along with implant monitoring and maintenance at the clinic, effective patient’s adaptation and self-hygiene of the prosthesis are also essential to ensure the longevity of the dental implant. The patient should be introduced to specific methods according to each type of prosthesis including fixed prosthesis, hybrid prosthesis, or overdenture. The effectiveness of oral hygiene in each patient should be re-evaluation at each follow-up visit to keep the implants free of peri-implant infection. If the patient has the poor oral hygiene, re-education and shorter waiting time between follow-up periods are required.