Mandibular Implant Overdentures Followed for Over 10 Years: Patient Compliance and Prosthetic Maintenance

Rentsch-Kollar, Andrea; Huber, Sandra; Mericske-Stern, Regina
March 2010
International Journal of Prosthodontics;2010, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p91
Academic Journal
Purpose: The mandibular implant overdenture is a popular treatment modality and is well documented in the literature. Follow-up studies with a long observation period are difficult to perform due to the increasing age of patients. The present data summarize a long-term clinical observation of patients with implant overdentures. Materials and Methods: Between 1984 and 1997, edentulous patients were consecutively admitted for treatment with an implant overdenture. The dentures were connected to the implants by means of bars or ball anchors. Regular maintenance was provided with at least one or two scheduled visits per year. Recall attendance and reasons for dropout were analyzed based on the specific history of the patient. Denture maintenance service, relining, repair, and fabrication of new dentures were identified, and complications with the retention devices specified separately. Results: In the time period from 1984 to 2008, 147 patients with a total of 314 implants had completed a follow-up period of > 10 years. One hundred one patients were still available in 2008, while 46 patients were not reexamined for various reasons. Compliance was high, with a regular recall attendance of > 90%. More than 80% of dentures remained in continuous service. Although major prosthetic maintenance was rather low in relation to the long observation period, visits to a dental hygienist and dentist resulted in an annual visit rate of 1.5 and 2.4, respectively. If new dentures became necessary, these were made in student courses, which increased the treatment time and number of appointments needed. Complications with the retention devices consisted mostly of the mounting of new female retainers, the repair of bars, and the changing of ball anchors. The average number of events and the rate of prosthetic service with ball anchors were significantly higher than those with bars. Twenty-two patients changed from ball anchors to bars; 9 patients switched from a clip bar to a rigid U-shaped bar. Conclusions: This long-term follow-up study demonstrates that implant overdentures are a favorable solution for edentulous patients with regular maintenance. In spite of specific circumstances in an aging population, it is possible to provide long-term care, resulting in a good prognosis and low risk for this treatment modality. For various reasons the dropout rate can be considerable in elderly patients and prosthetic service must be provided regularly.


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