The International journal of prosthodontics vol:16 issue:4 pages:415-21
PURPOSE: This study evaluated and compared the clinical performance of laser-welded titanium fixed partial implant-supported prostheses with that of conventional cast frameworks in the partially edentulous jaw. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Forty-two patients provided with Brånemark system implants were arranged into two groups. Twenty-one patients (group A) were provided with a conventional cast ceramometal framework in one side of the jaw and a laser-welded titanium framework with low-fusing porcelain in the other side. In group B, 21 patients received a titanium framework prosthesis to replace a conventional implant prosthesis. Clinical and radiographic data were collected for 5 years. RESULTS: Four implants and one titanium framework were lost during the follow-up period. The two framework designs did not show any significant differences with regard to implant or prosthesis survival (P > .05). Few clinical complications were observed. In group A, marginal bone loss after 5 years was similar for both prosthesis designs, with an average of 0.1 mm and 0.3 mm in the maxilla and mandible, respectively. Basically, no bone loss was observed on average in group B. Furthermore, no significant relationship was observed between marginal bone loss and placement of prosthesis margin or prosthesis design. CONCLUSION: Except for an insignificant tendency toward a slightly higher incidence of small chips of porcelain veneers, laser-welded titanium frameworks presented an overall similar clinical performance as conventional cast frameworks in partial implant situations after 5 years.