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Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants. 2007;22 Suppl:140-72.

Does the type of implant prosthesis affect outcomes in the partially edentulous patient?

Author information

  • 1Department of Restorative Dentistry and Biomaterial Sciences, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, 188 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Erratum in

  • Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants. 2008 Jan-Feb;23(1):56.



Implant restoration of the partially edentulous patient has become highly predictable. The scientific information on the specifics of restorative designs and their influence on the long-term outcome is sparse. The main objective of this systematic review was to determine what scientific evidence exists regarding the influence of prosthodontic design features on the long-term outcomes of implant therapy (implant success and survival, prosthesis success and survival) in the partially edentulous patient.


Four questions of primary interest regarding implant prosthodontic design options were selected by the 2 reviewers: abutment type, retention type (cemented, screw-retained), support type (implant support alone versus combined implant-tooth support), and the type of restorative material. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were formulated and applied to a total of 1,720 titles. The list of titles was primarily based on a PubMed-type search provided by the State of the Science of Implant Dentistry workshop leadership. It was supplemented by a hand search of relevant journals at the Countway Library of the Harvard Medical School and of a personal collection of relevant publications of the 2 reviewers. Information on the survival and success of implants and prostheses as defined by the respective authors was retrieved from the included articles, entered into data extraction tables, and submitted for statistical analysis.


Seventy-four articles were selected for data extraction and analysis after critical appraisal and application of the exclusion criteria. The kappa value for reviewer agreement was 100% between the 2 reviewers. The majority of studies were in the "average" range and were published between 1995 and 2003. Only 2 "best" trials, ie, randomized controlled clinical trials, were identified. For the method of retention (screw-retained versus cemented), no differences were found in implant success or survival rates between screw-retained and cemented restorations. Prosthesis success rates showed greater variations between cemented and screw-retained restorations at the various evaluation times; however, the differences never reached statistical significance. The prosthesis success rate at the last reported examination (> 72 mo) was 93.2% for cemented and 83.4% for screw-retained restorations (P > .05). Regarding the type of support, implant success rates at the last reported evaluation were 97.1% for implant-supported fixed partial dentures (FPDs), 94.3% for single-implant restorations, and 89.2% for implant-tooth-supported FPDs. None of the differences reached statistical significance. Implant survival at the last examination (> 72 mo) was highest for implant-supported FPDs (97.7%), followed by single-implant restorations (95.6%) and implant-tooth-supported FPDs (91.1%). Differences were not statistically significant. Prosthesis success at the last examination (> 72 mo) resulted in overall lower percentage rates than implant success or survival (89.7% for implant-supported FPDs, 87.5% for implant-tooth-supported FPDs, and 85.4% for single-implant restorations; differences not statistically significant). Insufficient extractable information was available regarding the influence of abutment type or restorative material.


The scientific evidence obtained from this review is insufficient to establish unequivocal clinical guidelines for the design of implant-supported fixed prostheses in the partially edentulous patient.

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