The International journal of prosthodontics vol:13 issue:4 pages:340-6
PURPOSE: This long-term follow-up study aimed to compare the outcome of fixed prostheses supported by teeth and implants and by freestanding implants only. MATERIALS AND METHODS: From prosthesis insertion up to 14 years (mean 6.5 y), 18 patients were followed. Implant-supported prostheses with and without tooth connection were compared within the same jaw. The tooth-implant prostheses were supported by 30 implants and 30 teeth, and the freestanding prostheses were supported by 48 implants. Implant outcome, marginal bone stability, and mechanical complications were recorded. RESULTS: Neither implant mobility nor fractures of any component of the implants were observed. No prosthesis complications were observed, and the same applied for crown cement failure and intrusion of teeth. Only one periapical lesion was detected at the first follow up. The annual change of the marginal bone level around connected and freestanding implants did not differ significantly. The mean marginal bone loss (over the 2 groups) for the first 6 months amounted to 1.08 mm. After the first 6 months, an annual marginal bone loss of 0.015 mm was observed. There was no difference between the 3 connection types (single implant connected to single tooth, multiple implants and/or multiple teeth connected with single connector, and multiple connectors) for the first 6 months or thereafter. The marginal bone loss (over the 3 groups) for the first 6 months was 1.15 mm. After the first 6 months, the annual bone loss (over the 3 groups) amounted to 0.015 mm. CONCLUSION: Based on the results of this study, splinting teeth with implants for implant-supported fixed prostheses did not affect the long-term outcome in comparison to freestanding implants.