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Volume 27 , Issue 6
November/December 2012

Pages 1560–1568

Patient Preference and Satisfaction with Implant-Supported Mandibular Overdentures Retained with Ball or Locator Attachments: A Crossover Clinical Trial

Gerald Krennmair, MD, DMD, PhD/Rudolf Seemann, MD, DMD/Andres Fazekas, MD, DMD, PhD/Rolf Ewers, MD, DMFD, PhD/Eva Piehslinger, MD, DMD, PhD

PMID: 23189311

Purpose: To determine patient satisfaction and preference for implant-supported mandibular overdentures (IOD) retained with ball or Locator attachments. In addition, peri-implant conditions and prosthodontic maintenance efforts for the final attachments were evaluated after 1 year of function. Material and Methods: In this crossover clinical trial, 20 edentulous patients were recruited to receive two mandibular implants in the canine region and were provided with implant-retained mandibular overdentures and new complete maxillary dentures. Implant-retained mandibular overdentures were stabilized with either ball attachments or Locator attachments, in random order. After 3 months of function, the attachments in the existing denture were changed. Questionnaires on satisfaction/complaints with the prostheses were administered at baseline (with the old dentures) and after 3 months of function with each attachment, thus providing for an intraindividual comparison. The decision for the final attachment chosen was based on the patient’s preference. For the definitive attachment, peri-implant conditions (peri-implant marginal bone resorption, pocket depth, and Plaque Index, Gingival Index, and Bleeding Index) as well as prosthodontic maintenance efforts and satisfaction score were evaluated after an insertion period of 1 year. Results: Nineteen (95%) patients completed the study (1 dropout). Patient satisfaction improved significantly (P < .05) from baseline (old dentures) to the new prostheses retained with each of the two attachment types for all domains of satisfaction. However, there were no differences between ball or Locator attachment for any items of satisfaction evaluated and neither attachment had a significant patient preference. No differences for peri-implant parameters or for patient satisfaction were noted between the definitive attachments (ball, n = 10; Locator, n = 9) after 1 year. Although the overall incidence rate of prosthodontic maintenance did not significantly differ between both retention modalities, the Locator attachment required more postinsertion aftercare (activation of retention) than the ball anchors. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2012;27:1560–1568

Key words: ball-locator attachment, crossover trial, mandibular overdenture

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