Purpose: This study evaluated and compared the clinical performance of laser-welded
titanium fixed partial implant-supported prostheses with that of conventional cast
frameworks in the partially edentulous jaw. Materials and Methods: Forty-two patients
provided with Brĺnemark system implants were arranged into two groups. Twenty-one
patients (group A) were provided with a conventional cast ceramometal framework in one
side of the jaw and a laser-welded titanium framework with low-fusing porcelain in the
other side. In group B, 21 patients received a titanium framework prosthesis to replace a
conventional implant prosthesis. Clinical and radiographic data were collected for 5 years.
Results: Four implants and one titanium framework were lost during the follow-up period.
The two framework designs did not show any significant differences with regard to implant
or prosthesis survival ( P .05). Few clinical complications were observed. In group A,
marginal bone loss after 5 years was similar for both prosthesis designs, with an average of
0.1 mm and 0.3 mm in the maxilla and mandible, respectively. Basically, no bone loss
was observed on average in group B. Furthermore, no significant relationship was
observed between marginal bone loss and placement of prosthesis margin or prosthesis
design. Conclusion: Except for an insignificant tendency toward a slightly higher incidence
of small chips of porcelain veneers, laser-welded titanium frameworks presented an overall
similar clinical performance as conventional cast frameworks in partial implant situations
after 5 years. Int J Prosthodont 2003;16:415–421.