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J Periodontol. 2015 Feb;86(2):192-200. doi: 10.1902/jop.2014.140343. Epub 2014 Oct 2.

Immediate loading of mandibular overdentures supported by one-piece, direct metal laser sintering mini-implants: a short-term prospective clinical study.

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Department of Surgical and Morphological Science, Dental School, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy.



Only a few studies have dealt with immediately loaded, unsplinted mini-implants supporting ball attachment-retained mandibular overdentures (ODs). The aim of this study is to evaluate treatment outcomes of ball attachment-retained mandibular ODs supported by one-piece, unsplinted, immediately loaded, direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) mini-implants.


Over a 4-year period (2009 to 2012), all patients referred to the Dental Clinic, University of Varese, and to a private practice for treatment with mandibular ODs were considered for inclusion in this study. Each patient received three or four DMLS mini-implants. Immediately after implant placement, a mandibular OD was connected to the implants. At each annual follow-up session, clinical and radiographic parameters were assessed, including the following outcome measures: 1) implant failures; 2) peri-implant marginal bone loss; and 3) complications. Statistical analysis was conducted using a life-table analysis.


A total of 231 one-piece DMLS mini-implants were inserted in 62 patients. After 4 years of loading, six implants failed, giving an overall cumulative survival rate of 96.9%. The mean distance between the implant shoulder and the first visible bone-to-implant contact was 0.38 ± 0.25 and 0.62 ± 0.20 mm at the 1- and 4-year follow-up examinations, respectively. An incidence of 6.0% of biologic complications was reported; prosthetic complications were more frequent (12.9%).


Within the limits of this study, it can be concluded that the immediate loading of one-piece, unsplinted, DMLS titanium mini-implants by means of ball attachment-supported mandibular ODs is a successful treatment procedure. Long-term follow-up studies are needed to confirm these results.


Dental implants; dental prosthesis; immediate dental implant loading; lasers; mandible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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