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Issue: 04/2012 - M. Degidi - D. Nardi - A. Piattelli
Prospective five-year follow-up of immediate definitive rehabilitation of the edentulous patient using an intraoral welded titanium framework

Objectives: The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the concept of intraoral welding as a suitable technique for the placement of a final restoration in the edentulous patient on the same day as surgery.

Materials and Methods: Any patient with a completely edentulous arch received a fixed restoration supported by an intraoral welded titanium bar. Definitive abutments were connected to the implants and then welded to a titanium bar using an intraoral welding unit. This framework was used to support the definitive acrylic restoration, which was fitted on the same day as implant placement. Restoration and implant success, mean marginal bone loss, pocket probing depth and bleeding on probing were assessed over a 60-month follow-up period.

Results: 36 patients with an edentulous maxilla and 44 patients with an edentulous mandible, with an average age of 58.1 years (SD=16.8; n=80), were consecutively treated with 320 immediately-loaded implants. No fractures or radiographically detectable alteration of the welded framework were evident. 317 (99.06%) implants osseointegrated and were clinically stable at the six-month follow-up. At the 60-month follow-up the accumulated mean marginal bone loss was respectively 0.967 mm (SD=0.361) for the maxillary cases and 1.016 mm (SD=0.413) for the mandible cases.

Conclusions: It is possible on the same day of surgery to successfully rehabilitate the edentulous patient with a fixed, definitive prosthesis supported by an intraoral welded titanium framework.

One sentence summary: It is possible to successfully rehabilitate edentulous patients on the same day as implant placement with a definitive fixed restoration supported by an intraoral welded titanium framework without jeopardizing osseointegration and implant success.

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