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Volume 18 , Issue 4
July/August 2003

Pages 582–588

Provisional Implants for Anchoring Removable Interim Prostheses in Edentulous Jaws: A Clinical Study

Gerald Krennmair, MD, DMD, PhD/Michael Weinländer, MD, DMD/Stefan Schmidinger, MD, DMD

PMID: 12939013

Purpose: The behavior of provisional implants in edentulous maxillae/mandibles used for anchoring removable interim overdentures was followed for the time of the intended healing of the definitive implants. Materials and Methods: Twenty-eight edentulous arches (19 maxillae, 9 mandibles) were provided with 77 provisional implants (2 to 4 in maxillae; 2 or 3 in mandibles) for anchoring removable interim prostheses (overdentures). The provisional implants were to be maintained until final restoration (6 to 9 months in the maxilla and 3 months in the mandible). The loss rate of provisional implants and handling and behavior of the anchored overdenture were monitored until the definitive prosthetic restoration was placed. Results: Twenty-three (29.8%) of the 77 provisional implants were lost prematurely. The loss rate of maxillary provisional implants (21/58; 36.2%) was significantly higher than that of mandibular implants (2/19; 10.5%) (P  .01). Determination of terminal stability (by means of the Periotest) of the provisional implants showed higher stability in the mandible (+3.8 ± 2.3) than in the maxilla (+8.6 ± 3.9) (P  .05). In obvious contrast to mandibular interim overdentures, handling of maxillary interim overdentures was found to improve significantly during the follow-up period (P  .01). Discussion and Conclusion: With both the low loss rate in the mandible and the higher loss rate seen in the maxilla, placement of provisional implants fulfills the requirements for initiating immediate prosthetic rehabilitation. The removable interim overdenture can be adequately stabilized and provides for added patient comfort and satisfaction as compared to a conventional complete denture. An important aspect of the continued use of provisional implants concerns the expectations placed in these implants by both clinician and patient, which are quite different than those for definitive implants. (INT J ORAL MAXILLOFAC IMPLANTS 2003;18:582–588)

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