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Volume 26 , Issue 3
May/June 2011

Pages 598–606


Comparison of Ball and Telescopic Crown Attachments in Implant-Retained Mandibular Overdentures: A 5-year Prospective Study

Gerald Krennmair, MD, DMD, PhD/Rudolf Seemann, MD, DMD/Michael Weinländer, MD, DMD/Eva Piehslinger, MD, DMD, PhD


PMID: 21691608

Purpose: Implant success, peri-implant conditions, and prosthodontic maintenance requirements were evaluated and compared for mandibular overdentures supported by two implants and retained with ball or resilient telescopic crown attachments during a 5-year period. Materials and Methods: Twenty-five patients with an edentulous mandible each received two root-form dental implants in the mandibular interforaminal (canine) region. The type of denture attachment was chosen randomly; 13 patients received ball attachments and 12 patients received resilient telescopic crowns. Implant success and peri-implant conditions (bone resorption, pocket depth, Plaque Index, Gingival Index, Bleeding Index) as well as prosthodontic maintenance and patient satisfaction were evaluated annually during a 5-year follow-up period and compared with respect to the two retention modalities used. Results: Implant success, peri-implant conditions, and subjective patient satisfaction scores did not differ between the two retention modalities used. However, during the 5-year observation period, significantly more postinsertion complications/interventions for maintenance purposes were registered in the ball group (87 interventions, 61.1%) than in the telescopic crown group (53 interventions, 37.9%; P < .01). Differences in prosthodontic maintenance efforts were most significant in the second and third years (P < .05) of the follow-up period but were similar at the end of the study for both anchorage systems. Conclusion: Both ball attachments and resilient telescopic crowns on isolated implants in the atrophic mandible are viable treatment options for implant-supported overdentures. No implant losses, good peri-implant conditions, and general patient satisfaction were noted. Although the frequency of technical complications was initially higher with ball attachments than with resilient telescopic crowns over a 5-year period, similar frequencies of maintenance efforts may be anticipated for both retention modalities. Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2011;26:598–606

Key words: ball anchors, implant-retained prostheses, mandibular overdentures, prosthodontic maintenance, telescopic crowns


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