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J Esthet Restor Dent. 2005;17(5):320-5.

Critical appraisal. Immediate loading of implants in the esthetic zone.

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Section of Fixed Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry, University of South California School of Dentistry, Los Angeles, USA.


The predictability of dental implants using the traditional branemark protocol has been well documented. Since its inception, this protocol has been progressively challenged to decrease treatment time, minimize the number of surgical procedures, and maximize esthetic outcomes. Today, in specific clinical situations, implants may be placed and immediately loaded with provisional restorations. Immediate loading in the edentulous mandible has been well documented. There are also good data to show that immediate loading of the edentulous maxilla is also feasible if bone quality is suitable. The focus now has shifted toward immediate loading of implants placed in the esthetic zone. Clinicians have recognized that the challenge of providing anterior tooth replacements is in preserving the hard and soft tissue components that exist around natural teeth. The advantages of immediate restoration are obvious; however, the application of immediate or early load may pose an increased risk of implant failure in single-tooth situations. The prerequisites for achieving and maintaining acceptable results are not fully known. This review examines some of the literature concerning the reliability of early or immediate loading of implants placed in the esthetic zone.


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