Clinical oral implants research vol:3 issue:2 pages:63-70
For several years, osseointegrated implant-supported overdentures have been used in the rehabilitation of full edentulism with excellent results, at least in the lower jaw. This study involved 3 groups of patients with different prosthetic reconstructions: (1) mandibular overdentures supported by 2 implants connected by a bar (30 patients), (2) mandibular fixed prostheses supported by 4-6 implants (25 patients) and (3) mandibular complete dentures without implant support as controls (85 patients). The primary aim of this study was to examine on orthopantomograms (by means of the area index to minimize distortion and magnification errors), posterior mandibular ridge resorption in the 3 treatment groups. The present data demonstrated a minimal posterior mandibular ridge resorption in patients with fixed implant-supported prostheses. A more considerable posterior ridge resorption was observed in the complete denture group and especially in the overdenture wearers. For the latter, the annual posterior jaw bone resorption after the post-extraction remodeling period of 6 months, was 2- to 3-fold that of full denture wearers. When patients were edentulous for more than 10 years, the difference between the 2 latter groups disappeared. It is suggested that although the overdenture design on 2 implants offers advantages from a financial and failure rate point of view, its indications in younger patients should cautiously be evaluated in a long-term perspective concerning posterior mandibular bone resorption.