Purpose: The aim of this report is to present the implant and clinical outcomes of an immediate-loading protocol of TiUnite implants with mandibular overdentures in edentulous patients. Materials and Methods: Two groups of edentulous patients were selected. Thirty-five consecutively treated patients received 70 immediately loaded TiUnite implants and 69 Brånemark implants as backup (1 patient received 1 Brånemark implant). The control group was a historical cohort that comprised 42 patients who received 111 Brånemark implants. All overdentures were supported by a resilient bar mechanism. Implant and clinical outcomes, including maintenance events for the first year, were recorded. Results: Implant success rates were in excess of 95% with both protocols. Immediately loaded implants had less bone loss than did implants loaded with the conventional protocol (Mann-Whitney U test; P = .001). Patients in the immediate-loading group required more prosthodontic maintenance, consisting of overdenture remakes and laboratory relining of prostheses (Chi-square test; P < .05). Of note, 74% of patients in the immediate-loading group needed a reline to improve the denture seal around the bar housing (Chi-square test; P < .05). Conclusion: The favorable implant and bone level outcomes with immediate loading attest to its biologic success. The prosthetic maintenance encountered in the immediate-loading group does not negate the clinical potential of the treatment but rather suggests that the protocol may benefit from modifications.
Int J Prosthodont 2005;18:463–470.