Journal of clinical periodontology vol:18 issue:10 pages:719-28
196 Brånemark implants in 86 consecutive patients rehabilitated by means of overdentures (6 upper jaws, 80 lower jaws) were observed longitudinally. In each jaw, only 2 implants were used to anchor the overdenture. 2 implants in the lower jaw showed some mobility at the abutment installation and were removed immediately. During the loading period (mean loading time 19.1 months ranging from 4 to 48 months), none of the implants showed any signs of non-integration. The marginal tissue reaction and plaque accumulation were monitored using conventional indices. Clinical methods and standardized radiographs were used to evaluate the bone level and density. The numbers of approximal surfaces without plaque (40%) or with gingival inflammation (55%) were almost constant throughout the study. The probing pocket depths remained within the range of 2.7 to 3.2 mm during the observation time, whereas the distance of the gingival margin from the top of the abutment clearly increased (from 1.8 to 2.9 mm). For loaded lower jaw implants connected to each other with a straight bar, a radiographic bone loss of 0.8 mm was observed during the first postsurgical year followed by a mean annual bone loss of less than 0.1 mm. For the "sleeping" fixtures, 50% less bone loss was recorded. For loaded but not interconnected implants in the upper jaw, the bone loss during the first 6 months reached 2.0 mm. The loss in marginal bone height did not clearly correlate with parameters such as the plaque index, the gingivitis index, the presence or absence of gingiva around the abutment, or the implant length. The present data, with an observation time up to 4 years, showed that the failure rate for Brånemark implants supporting overdentures in the lower jaw can be limited to 1%. However, the use of 2 unconnected fixtures in the upper jaw cannot presently be advocated since considerable bone loss was observed.