Computer-assisted design/computer-assisted manufacturing (CAD/CAM) can be used to fabricate bars which are used to support implant-overdentures (IODs). These bars can be made using titanium as well as zirconium dioxide (ZrO). This study, from researchers in Switzerland, looked at the short-term clinical outcomes of using ZrO bars as supports for mandibular IODs.
There is limited data on the clinical outcomes of ZrO bars, and this study aimed to report on the radiographic crestal bone level changes 12 months after implant placement. The researchers anticipated that the bar fracture rate would be less than 5% and that no significant bone resorption would be observed.
Thirty implants were placed in 15 edentulous patients. After a six-week healing period each patient received a mandibular IOD supported by a ZrO bar. The bars had a rigid design, with bilateral 7mm extensions, and were screw-retained without a titanium base at the interface. Panoramic radiographs to assess crestal bone changes were taken at delivery and after 12 months.
All 30 implants were successfully integrated and no complications were reported. As hypothesised, no significant crestal bone resorption occurred and there were also no bar fractures. The results of this short-term study suggest the use of the ZrO bar can lead to positive and predictable outcomes.
This study was presented as an e-poster at the 2018 EAO Congress.