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J Oral Implantol. 2012 Apr;38(2):194-200. doi: 10.1563/AAID-JOI-D-10-00071. Epub 2010 Nov 23.

Tooth-implant connection: a review.

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Department of Periodontics, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, Calif., USA.


The aim of this review was to assess the long-term outcomes of restorations supported by implants and natural teeth with regard to complications associated with implants, teeth, and restorations, as well as the influence on these parameters of the connector type used. A net-based search in PubMed was combined with a manual search. Clinical studies, reviews, and biomechanical studies were included. Information on survival rate, complication rate, incidence of tooth intrusion, and, where applicable, type of connector used, was retrieved from the clinical studies. Force distribution and types of connectors used were retrieved from the biomechanical study. A summary of outcomes was retrieved from the reviews. A total of 25 articles were selected for inclusion in this review, including clinical studies (15), biomechanical studies (7), and reviews (3). Implant success rates ranged from 79.5%-100%. Tooth complications occurred in 5.4%-11.8% of cases. Complications in the suprastructure were observed in 5%-90% of cases. Tooth intrusion presented in a total of 0%-66% of all cases, more often in cases with nonrigid connection (0%-66%) than in cases with rigid connection (0%-44%). Biomechanical studies show a large difference in stress distribution and in dependence on the type of connector used, with most studies demonstrating that nonrigid connectors drastically reduce stress on the suprastructure while increasing forces on supporting teeth and implants. Long-term success rates for tooth-implant connections are lower than for solely implant-supported restorations with regard to prognosis for teeth, implants, and suprastructure. Use of rigid connectors leads to more favorable clinical outcomes in terms of long-term stability, occurrence of complications, and tooth intrusion.

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