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Keywords:

  • animal studies;
  • clinical studies;
  • crestal bone level changes;
  • systematic review

Abstract

Objectives

To address the following focused question: What is the impact of implant–abutment configuration and the positioning of the machined collar/microgap on crestal bone level changes?

Material and methods

Electronic databases of the PubMed and the Web of Knowledge were searched for animal and human studies reporting on histological/radiological crestal bone level changes (CBL) at nonsubmerged one-/two-piece implants (placed in healed ridges) exhibiting different abutment configurations, positioning of the machined collar/microgap (between 1992 and November 2012: = 318 titles). Quality assessment of selected full-text articles was performed according to the ARRIVE and CONSORT statement guidelines.

Results

A total of 13 publications (risk of bias: high) were eligible for the review. The weighted mean difference (WMD) (95% CI) between machined collars placed either above or below the bone crest amounted to 0.835 mm favoring an epicrestal positioning of the rough/smooth border (< 0.001) (P-value for heterogeneity: 0.885, I2: 0.000% = no heterogeneity). WMD (95% CI) between microgaps placed either at or below the bone crest amounted to −0.479 mm favoring a subcrestal position of the implant neck (< 0.001) (P-value for heterogeneity: 0.333, I2: 12.404% = low heterogeneity). Only two studies compared different implant–abutment configurations. Due to a high heterogeneity, a meta-analysis was not feasible.

Conclusions

While the positioning of the machined neck and microgap may limit crestal bone level changes at nonsubmerged implants, the impact of the implant–abutment connection lacks documentation.