Introduction: Alveolar split crest is an established surgical technique to enable implant insertion into narrow and atrophic alveolar crest. This surgical technique is adopted to position standard or large implants so that postextractive anatomy compromises with this attempt. The aim of this study was to evaluate the horizontal alveolar bone augmentation and its stability along time with a minimally invasive flapless technique. Materials and methods: Twenty-four implants were inserted in 10 patients during a 15-month period. Clinical parameters such as horizontal bone augmentation, intrasurgical complications, patient morbidity, implant loss, and vertical bone loss (VBL) were recorded in the first 3 years after surgery. Using cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), alveolar bone width was measured for both implants position and bone reconstructions. 6 months later, at the time of implant integration, a new low-dose CBCT was performed. Implant survival (IS) and VBL were evaluated radiographically for 3 years. Results: The initial bone thickness measured on the ridge is between 0.82 mm and 5.40 mm (average 2.43 mm), after the split crest the bone width is between 4.65 mm and 8.09 mm (average 6.39 mm). This leads to an increase in the alveolar bone width of between 0.80 mm and 6.01 mm (average 3.71 mm) on the ridge. No implant was lost at 3 years, and all implants are stable at the end of the study. Three years after the surgery, controls showed a VBL of between 0.0 mm and 1.2 mm (average 0.63 mm) around the inserted implants. These parameters suggest using a flapless technique to reduce bone resorption around the implant neck. Conclusion: A minimally invasive approach allows to reduce the surgical trauma and postsurgical discomfort. The complete vascular supply is maintained, the bone resorption is reduced, and the connective epithelium does not undergo postsurgical retraction, achieving the full maintenance of the residual keratinized gingiva. Clinical significance: A technique such as split crest can be a valid option to avoid autologous or heterologous bone grafts.
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