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Complication and failure rates of fixed dental prostheses in patients treated for periodontal disease


Corresponding author:
Dr Prof. Urs Brägger
School of Dental Medicine
University of Bern
Freiburgstrasse 7
3010 Bern
Tel.: +41 31 632 2541
Fax: +41 31 632 4931


Objectives: To evaluate the biological and technical complication rates of fixed dental prostheses (FDP) with end abutments or cantilever extensions on teeth (FDP-tt/cFDP-tt) on implants (FDP-ii/cFDP-ii) and tooth-implant-supported (FDP-ti/cFDP-ti) in patients treated for chronic periodontitis.

Material and methods: From a cohort of 392 patients treated between 1978 and 2002 by graduate students, 199 were re-examined in 2005. Of these, 84 patients had received ceramo-metal FDPs (six groups).

Results: At the re-evaluation, the mean age of the patients was 62 years (36.2–83.4). One hundred and seventy-five FDPs were seated (82 FDP-tt, 9 FDP-ii, 20 FDP-ti, 39 cFDP-tt, 15 cFDP-ii, 10 cFDP-ti). The mean observation time was 11.3 years; 21 FDPs were lost, and 46 technical and 50 biological complications occurred. Chances for the survival of the three groups of FDPs with end abutments were very high (risk for failure 2.8%, 0%, 5.6%). The probability to remain without complications and/or failure was 70.3%, 88.9% and 74.7% in FDPs with end abutments, but 49.8–25% only in FDPs with extensions at 10 years.

Conclusions: In patients treated for chronic periodontitis and provided with ceramo-metal FDPs, high survival rates, especially for FDPs with end abutments, can be expected. The incidence rates of any negative events were increased drastically in the three groups with extension cFDPs (tt, ii, ti).

Strategic decisions in the choice of a particular FDP design and the choice of teeth/implants as abutments appear to influence the risks for complications to be expected with fixed reconstruction. If possible, extensions on tooth abutments should be avoided or used only after a cautious clinical evaluation of all options.

To cite this article:
Brägger U, Hirt-Steiner S, Schnell N, Schmidlin K, Salvi GE, Pjetursson B, Matuliene G, Zwahlen M, Lang NP. Complication and failure rates of fixed dental prostheses in patients treated for periodontal disease.
Clin. Oral Impl. Res. 22, 2011; 70–77.
doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0501.2010.02095.x

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