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J Periodontal Implant Sci. 2013 Feb;43(1):12-7. doi: 10.5051/jpis.2013.43.1.12. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Performance of attachments used in implant-supported overdentures: review of trends in the literature.

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Department of Restorative Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, Chicago, IL, USA.


The purpose of this review is to examine the performance of attachments used in implant-supported overdenture (IOD) in both clinical and in vitro settings and report the compiled findings, comparisons, and trends in the research literature. Articles published in PubMed on IOD attachment systems and performance were reviewed. Non-original articles were excluded. For each article included, the type of study, number of implants, number of attachment systems, and study outcome were recorded. Of the 283 articles found, 158 met the inclusion criteria. Ninety-four articles were clinical studies and 64 articles were in vitro studies. Studies on retention were the most common for in vitro studies, and four or more attachment systems were compared in most articles with significant differences in outcome. A clinical outcome of one attachment system was most common for clinical studies, while most studies had neutral outcomes overall. Ball attachment was the most commonly tested IOD attachment system. The trend in the literature showed that there is a large discrepancy between the study designs and outcomes between the clinical and the in vitro studies for IOD. Further clinical studies that can validate in vitro research should be encouraged to address this discrepancy between the two areas.


Dental implants; Denture precision attachment; Overlay denture

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