A short-term clinical evaluation of immediately restored maxillary TiOblast single-tooth implants

Michael R Norton
International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants 2004, 19 (2): 274-81

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the short-term clinical outcome of single-tooth implants placed in the maxilla and immediately restored using cementless friction-fit temporary crowns.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-five patients consecutively referred to a private specialist practice for the replacement of failing or missing maxillary teeth were treated by means of immediate temporization of their single-tooth implants. Where teeth were still present, implants were placed immediately following extraction. Provisional crowns were fabricated on a special friction-fit coping by means of autopolymerizing acrylic resin. Definitive crowns were placed a mean of 4.5 months after surgery. Implant survival was recorded along with the level of the marginal bone relative to a fixed reference point 1 year after placement. Any adverse soft tissue changes were also noted.

RESULTS: A total of 28 Astra Tech ST dental implants were placed. The overall survival rate at the end of the study was 96.4% for implants which were in function for periods ranging from 15.7 to 27 months. One patient, a smoker, lost 1 implant within 1 month of surgery. Mean marginal bone loss was 0.40 mm (range 0 to 1.53 mm) 1 year after placement of the implants. Many implants (37.5%) had no observed bone loss. No implants or crowns have been lost during the functional loading period. One implant was associated with an unfavorable recession of soft tissues; however, most maintained an esthetic gingival architecture. Eleven of 28 provisional restorations needed treatment; 6 required replacement during the temporization period, and 5 required cementation because of looseness. The ease of removal of the crowns allowed regular access for irrigation with chlorhexidine and thus maintenance of soft tissue health.

DISCUSSION: The need to provide provisional restorations for single-tooth gaps often presents challenges. An immediate temporary partial denture or adhesive prosthesis may be unacceptable or impractical. The current study describes a simple method for the immediate temporization of single-tooth implants. The results did not indicate any negative influence on osseointegration or short-term survival once the implants were functionally loaded.

CONCLUSION: Immediate temporization of maxillary single-tooth implants can be both safe and predictable, and it appears that the procedure can yield favorable soft tissue esthetics.

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