• Dental implants;
  • single-tooth;
  • dental prosthesis;
  • implant-supported;
  • dental prosthesis design;
  • dental restoration;
  • temporary;
  • dental abutments;
  • dental occlusion


Background:  The aim of this study was to review the literature on the restoration of single-tooth implants, and to develop evidence-based conclusions to optimize aesthetic, biologic and patient-related outcomes.

Methods:  An electronic and hand search was conducted using the search terms ‘dental implants, single-tooth; dental restoration, temporary; dental impression materials; dental impression technique; dental prosthesis, implant-supported; dental prosthesis design; dental abutments; dental occlusion; maintenance; survival; and survival analysis’. Resultant titles were screened, and full text was obtained where relevant. The authors selected the most appropriate articles, giving preference to systematic reviews and long-term, patient-based outcome data.

Results:  Thirty-nine articles were selected and critiqued by the authors.

Conclusions:  There was strong suggestion by several authors that peri-implant soft tissue aesthetics can be sculpted through provisional restoration contour, but there are no clinical outcome studies to define or support this claim. Laboratory studies demonstrate that pick-up type impression copings in conjunction with elastomeric impressions are the most accurate means for transferring implant position to a dental cast. Laboratory and finite-element analysis studies suggest implants with an internal-type connection show improved stress distribution, but supportive clinical data are lacking. The authors of this review favour a screw-retained prosthesis for retrievability. Clinical and histological studies show that gold, titanium and zirconia ceramic abutment materials exhibit excellent biological responses, although there is insufficient data on the clinical service provided by zirconia as an implant-substructure material. The literature does not associate any particular occlusal scheme with superior clinical outcomes. Implant-borne single crowns offer comparable clinical service to tooth-borne fixed dental prostheses. However, single-tooth implant restorations are associated with an increased incidence of biological and technical complications.