Zirconia-Based Screw-Retained Prostheses Supported by Implants: A Retrospective Study on Technical Complications and Failures

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Little information is yet available on zirconia-based prostheses supported by implants.


To evaluate technical problems and failures of implant-supported zirconia-based prostheses with exclusive screw-retention.

Material and Methods:

Consecutive patients received screw-retained zirconia-based prostheses supported by implants and were followed over a time period of 5 years. The implant placement and prosthetic rehabilitation were performed in one clinical setting, and all patients participated in the maintenance program. The treatment comprised single crowns (SCs) and fixed dental prostheses (FDPs) of three to 12 units. Screw-retention of the CAD/CAM-fabricated SCs and FDPs was performed with direct connection at the implant level. The primary outcome was the complete failure of zirconia-based prostheses; outcome measures were fracture of the framework or extensive chipping resulting in the need for refabrication. A life table analysis was performed, the cumulative survival rate (CSR) calculated, and a Kaplan-Meier curve drawn.


Two hundred and ninety-four implants supported 156 zirconia-based prostheses in 95 patients (52 men, 43 women, average age 59.1 ± 11.7 years). Sixty-five SCs and 91 FDPs were identified, comprising a total of 441 units. Fractures of the zirconia framework and extensive chipping resulted in refabrication of nine prostheses. Nearly all the prostheses (94.2%) remained in situ during the observation period. The 5-year CSR was 90.5%, and 41 prostheses (14 SCs, 27 FDPs) comprising 113 units survived for an observation time of more than 5 years. Six SCs exhibited screw loosening, and polishing of minor chipping was required for five prostheses.


This study shows that zirconia-based implant-supported fixed prostheses exhibit satisfactory treatment outcomes and that screw-retention directly at the implant level is feasible.

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