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14 July 2021

Single implants supporting a 3-unit cantilevered maxillary prosthesis: a prospective case series with 2-year follow-up

Authors: Gioacchino Cannizzaro, Pietro Felice, Matteo Lazzarini, Paolo Viola, Giuseppe Sorce, Vittorio Ferri, Marco Esposito

To evaluate the clinical outcome of a purpose-designed implant, placed in the upper premolar position of distally edentulous jaws, supporting a 3-unit cantilevered screw-retained prosthesis.

Materials and methods.
Sixteen patients received, in the upper premolar area, a single implant specifically designed to support a 3-unit distally cantilevered screw-retained prosthesis. Implants were loaded after 3 to 5 months of submerged healing, depending on bone density. Eight prostheses were made of metal-composite and eight of fibre-reinforced composite at the discretion of the dentist. Outcome measures, evaluated by an independent assessor, were: prosthesis and implant failure, complications and peri-implant marginal bone level changes.

No patient dropped out. No implant or prosthesis failed. Three (19%) patients were affected by complications. After 2 years the mean marginal bone loss was 0.45 mm.

These short-term results suggest that a 3-unit distally cantilevered prostheses can be supported in the maxilla by a single, purpose-designed dental implant up to 2 years after loading. Proper studies with follow-ups of about 10 years are needed to ascertain the long-term prognosis of this treatment option.

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