A descriptive 18-year retrospective review of subperiosteal implants for patients with severely atrophied edentulous mandibles

Author(s): Moore DJ, Hansen PA


Objectives: The aim was to test whether or not zirconia abutments exhibit the same survival and technical/biological outcome as titanium abutments. Material and methods: Twenty-two patients receiving 40 single-tooth implants in canine and posterior regions were included. The implant sites were randomly assigned to 20 zirconia and 20 titanium abutments. All-ceramic and metal–ceramic crowns were fabricated. At baseline, 6, 12 and 36 months, the reconstructions were examined for technical and biological problems. Probing pocket depth (PPD), plaque control record (PCR) and bleeding on probing (BOP) were assessed at abutments (test) and analogous contralateral teeth (control). Standardized radiographs of the implants were made and the bone level (BL) was measured referring to the implant shoulder on mesial (mBL) and distal sides (dBL). The difference of color (ΔE) of the peri-implant mucosa and the gingiva of control teeth was assessed with a spectrophotometer. The data were statistically analyzed with Mann–Whitney Rank and Student's unpaired t-tests. Results: Eighteen patients with 18 zirconia and 10 titanium abutments were examined at a mean follow-up of 36 months (range 31.5–53.3 months). No fracture of an abutment or loss of a reconstruction was found. Hence, both exhibited 100% survival. At two metal–ceramic crowns supported by titanium abutments chipping of the veneering ceramic occurred. No difference of the biological outcome of zirconia and titanium abutments was observed: PPD (inline image 3.2 ± 1 mm, mPPDTi 3.4 ± 0.5 mm), PCR (inline image 0.1 ± 0.2, mPCRTi 0.1 ± 0.2) and BOP (inline image 0.4 ± 0.4, mBOPTi 0.2 ± 0.3). Furthermore, the BL was similar at implants supporting zirconia and titanium abutments (inline image 1.7 ± 1, inline image 1.6 ± 1; mBLTi 2 ± 1, dBLTi 2.1 ± 1). Both, zirconia and titanium abutments induced a similar amount of discoloration of the mucosa compared with the gingiva at natural teeth (inline image 9.3 ± 3.8, ΔETi 6.8 ± 3.8). Conclusions: At 3 years, zirconia and titanium abutments exhibited same survival and technical, biological and esthetical outcomes.