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Clin Oral Implants Res. 2003 Dec;14(6):720-6.

Retention and postinsertion maintenance of bar-clip, ball and magnet attachments in mandibular implant overdenture treatment: an in vivo comparison after 3 months of function.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Prosthodontics and Special Dental Care, University Medical Centre, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.


It could be hypothesised that attachments, which provide more retention against vertical and horizontal dislodgement, will be associated with more favourable parameters of oral function. This in vivo study is designed to provide data regarding initial retention force, loss of retention force after 3 months of function and postinsertion maintenance and complications associated with the use of magnet, bar-clip and ball attachments in mandibular overdenture treatment. Eighteen edentulous subjects received two permucosal implants in the inter-foramina region of the mandible, a new denture and three successive suprastructure modalities (magnet-, bar-clip and ball attachments). The retention force of the attachments at baseline and after 3 months was measured in a standardised way. The amount and type of postinsertion maintenance that was related to the attachment were evaluated. No differences in retention force at baseline and after 3 months of loading were observed for all three attachment types. The mean retention forces of magnet attachments, bar-clip attachments and ball attachments were 8.1, 31.3 and 29.7 N respectively. Functional maintenance complications related to the attachments were predominantly observed in 11/36 magnet attachments. Functional problems in the ball attachment group were relatively rare, easily manageable and seen in 4/36 attachments. The bar-clip attachments exhibited no maintenance problems at all.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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