Patient satisfaction with mini-implant stabilised full dentures. A 1-year prospective study

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate patient-centred outcomes with regard to function and comfort after placement of mini-implants for stabilisation of complete dentures. The trial was designed as a prospective cohort of 12-months duration and involved 21 subjects in the age of 50–90 years having a full denture in the maxilla or the mandible with poor stability during function. Flapless installation of 2–4 narrow-body Dentatus Atlas® implants was performed and retention for the existing denture was obtained by the use of a silicone-based soft lining material (Tuf-Link®). Patients' judgement of perceived satisfaction with function and comfort of the dentures was recorded at baseline, 1- and 12-months post-treatment using 10-centimetre visual analogue scales (VAS) and a questionnaire. Clinical examination of the conditions of the peri-implant soft tissues was performed at 12 months. Nineteen of the 21 patients were available for the 12-month follow-up examination. The two drop-out subjects lost all implants within 1 month and rejected retreatment. Further six subjects lost 1–2 implants, but were sucessfully retreated by insertion of new implants. Overall satisfaction, chewing and speaking comfort were all markedly improved from pre-treatment median VAS scores of around 4–5 to median scores of 9·0–10 (10 = optimal) at the final examination. The prevalence of positive answers to questions regarding stability/function of the denture increased significantly to almost 100% for all questions. Treatment involving maxillary dentures and the use of short implants (7–10 mm) was associated with an increased risk of implant failure. The results indicate that placement of mini-implants as retentive elements for full dentures with poor functional stability has a marked positive impact on the patients' perception of oral function and comfort as well as security in social life.

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