Soft tissues stability of cad-cam and stock abutments in anterior regions: 2-year prospective multicentric cohort study

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Aim of this study was to verify if the type of implant abutment manufacturing, stock or cad-cam, could influence the maintenance of stable gingival margins around single restorations in anterior areas.


After 16 weeks of healing, implants (Osseospeed, Astra Tech Dental Implant) were positioned. Depending on the different fixture inclination and the thickness of buccal peri-implant soft tissue, abutment selection resulted in four groups: Group 1 (patients with zirconia ZirDesign® stock abutments), Group 2 (titanium stock TiDesign® abutments), Group 3 (zirconia cad-cam abutments), and Group 4 (titanium cad-cam abutments). The following parameters were assessed: buccal gingival margin modification (BGM). The modification of the implant gingival margin was followed at 1 and 2 years of follow-up. A computerized analysis was performed for measurements. Differences between soft tissue margin at baseline and after 2 years measured the gingival margin recession. A general linear model was used to evaluate each group in relation to gingival recession after two years. Tukey's post hoc test was used to compare the mean REC indexes of each group of abutments.


Seventy-two healthy patients (39 males and 33 females; mean age of 46 years) scheduled for single gap rehabilitation in anterior areas were enrolled. A 100% of implant survival rate was observed after 24 months of function. One failure occurred due to fracture of a Zirconia cad-cam abutment. Moreover, two abutment screw unscrewing were observed. Both for zirconia and titanium stock abutments (Group 1 and 2), the mean recession of implant buccal soft tissue was of 0.3 mm (SD of 0.3 and 0.4 mm, respectively). Soft tissue mean recession of zirconia and titanium cad-cam abutments (Group 3 and 4) was of 0.1 and −0.3 mm, respectively (SD of 0.3 and 0.4 mm, respectively). REC values of cad-cam titanium abutments (Group 4) were significantly lower than that of Group 1 (−0.57 mm), Group 2 (−0.61 mm), and Group 3 (−0.40 mm), respectively (Table 4).


In the anterior area, the use of cad-cam abutments is related to a better soft tissue stability. Such a relationship is significant if cad-cam titanium abutments are compared to both titanium and zirconia stock abutments.

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