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Volume 23 , Issue 4
July/August 2010

Pages 321332

Marginal Bone Loss with Mandibular Two-Implant Overdentures Using Different Loading Protocols and Attachment Systems: 10-Year Outcomes

Sunyoung Ma, BDS/Andrew Tawse-Smith, DDS, Cert Perio/W. Murray Thomson, MA, BSc, BDS, MComDent, PhD/Alan G.T. Payne, BDS, MDent, DDSc, FCD

PMID: 20617220

Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate long-term marginal bone levels for two unsplinted implants supporting mandibular overdentures using conventional and early loading protocols with different implant surfaces and attachment systems. Materials and Methods: A cohort of 106 edentulous participants (mean age: 65 years) was treated with mandibular two-implant overdentures opposing complete maxillary dentures. Participants were randomly allocated into three loading protocol groups using four implant systems; single-stage surgery was performed for all participants, followed by an unsplinted prosthesis using six different attachment systems. Standardized intraoral radiographs taken at baseline (loading) and over 10 years appraised marginal bone levels mesially and distally from reference points under magnification. Three calibrated examiners repeated measurements, diminishing intra- and interobserver variability. Progressive attrition of participants occurred as a result of deaths, dropouts, and emigration. Seventy-nine participants (74.5%, mean age: 72 years) were available at the 10-year recall. Differences in bone loss among different loading protocols, implant surfaces, and attachment systems were tested using chi-square and one-way analysis of variance tests. Results: Minimal, time-dependent, long-term marginal bone loss occurred with all loading protocols. Annual marginal bone loss progressed at low levels after the first year with episodes of bone loss and gain. There was stability in marginal bone levels over the long term, with the majority of remodeling occurring during the first year of function. Roughened implant surfaces may be beneficial during the early remodeling period. The amount of marginal bone loss in the first year of loading differed significantly by loading protocol and implant surface, whereas attachment system had a minor influence. Differences were not reflected in the success rates calculated using standard criteria. The remaining participants at 10 years were classified as successful related to the criterion of marginal bone loss, irrespective of the determining criteria for success. Conclusions: Either a 2- , 6-, or 12-week loading protocol for mandibular two-implant overdentures is possible in the long term, irrespective of the attachment system used. Minimal marginal bone loss may be attributed primarily to mandibular basal bone remaining from long-term edentulism. Revision of the current implant success criteria to offer a stricter limit is desirable. Int J Prosthodont 2010;23:321332.

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