Rehabilitation of edentulous jaws with zirconia complete-arch fixed implant-supported prostheses: An up to 4-year retrospective clinical study

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Statement of problem.

Limited data are available on the clinical outcomes of patients with edentulism treated with zirconia complete-arch fixed implant-supported prostheses (CAFIPs).


The primary purpose of this retrospective clinical study was to study the failure rate of dental implants as well as the fracture rate of zirconia CAFIPs. The secondary purpose was to study the survival outcomes of patients with edentulism treated with zirconia CAFIPs as well as the rate of technical complications.

Material and methods.

This retrospective clinical study from private practice included 128 patients rehabilitated between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2016, with 1072 implants supporting 191 zirconia CAFIPs for single-jaw as well as double-jaw rehabilitations. All zirconia prostheses were of 1-piece design and were veneered with feldspathic porcelain only at the gingival region and therefore considered as predominantly monolithic. Additionally, all prostheses were bonded to implant manufacturer's titanium cylinders that provided an intimate contact with the implants. The primary outcome measures were implant failure rate and prosthesis fracture rate. The secondary outcome measures were prosthodontic treatment survival rate and the incidence of technical complications with respect to monolithic zirconia CAFIPs. Cumulative survival rate (CSR) for implants and prostheses was calculated after a life-table survival analysis.


Of the analyzed samples over a 4-year period, at least 288 implants and 49 prostheses had a minimum of 4 years of follow-up. A total of 18 implant failures were noted (13 in maxilla, 5 in mandible), yielding a CSR of 97.6% for implants. One fracture of the zirconia prosthesis was recorded, yielding a CSR of 99.4% for the prostheses over the 4-year period. Another 3 prostheses required remaking because the supporting implants failed, and 1 prosthesis was remade because the lack of passive fit resulted in a CSR of 96.8% for the prosthodontic treatment itself. During the 4-year period, 1 zirconia prosthesis had a technical complication related to the debonding of titanium cylinders, and 2 prostheses had fractured screws, which were resolved successfully. No zirconia prostheses had chipping of the veneered gingival porcelain.


Findings from this retrospective clinical study from private practice showed that prosthodontic treatment of edentulous patients with a 1-piece, complete-arch fixed implant-supported zirconia prosthesis with veneered porcelain restricted to the gingival region had high survival rates for implants and prostheses. Minimal technical complications related to this type of treatment for edentulous jaws and no chipping of the veneered gingival porcelain were encountered.

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