Strategies for restoration of single implants and use of cross-pin retained restorations by Australian prosthodontists


Dr Raelene Sambrook
Melbourne Dental School
The University of Melbourne
720 Swanston Street
Carlton VIC 3053


Background:  Implant supported restorations (ISRs) for the single implant may be cement retained or screw retained. Limited scientific evidence exists to support the superiority of a retention type for either implant or prosthetic success. The aim of this study was to assess preferences of Australian prosthodontists when restoring single implants. In particular, clinical practices for cross-pin retained implant supported restorations for a single implant were investigated.

Methods:  A written questionnaire comprised of seven questions, some of which had multiple parts and of both open- and closed-format, was sent to 124 Australian prosthodontists. The questionnaire asked recipients to identify: (1) their preference for retention choice when restoring a single implant; (2) the frequency of use; and (3) clinical practice when restoring a cross-pin retained restoration.

Results:  Seventy-seven per cent of respondents indicated that direct to fixture (DTF) retention was their first preference. DTF retention was also the most frequently employed restoration for single implants. Respondents indicated that cross-pinned ISRs are employed to maintain retrievability or when DTF is not possible. The majority of respondents indicated they always or sometimes use a gasket with cross-pin retained restorations, though gasket type varied. Thirty-eight respondents (31%) indicated that they would never use a cross-pinned retained restoration for a single ISR.

Conclusions:  Australian prosthodontists prefer, and more frequently restore single implants, using DTF retention. Queensland prosthodontists prefer cement retained ISRs. In comparison, cross-pinned restorations tend to be the least favoured and least used retention type. In addition, variation in opinion exists regarding the need for a gasket and type of gasket to be placed.