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How many implants are necessary to stabilise an implant-supported maxillary overdenture?


Data sources Pubmed and EMBASE databases were searched from 2000 to 2017 and complemented by manual searching of the references of reviews and the full-text articles assessed for inclusion.

Study selection The inclusion criteria were: (i) Randomised clinical trials (RCT), prospective or retrospective studies, and case series or case reports including at least ten totally edentulous patients rehabilitated with maxillary implant-supported overdenture; (ii) analysed one of the following outcomes: survival rate of the implants, survival rate of the overdenture and patient-reported results; (iii) had at least two years of follow-up; (iv) and were written in English language.

Data extraction and synthesis The data extraction was performed by two independent reviewers. The comparison of the analysed outcomes was performed by nonparametric Fisher Test for unpaired data according to the number of implants and to the splinting technique. A meta-analysis was performed for the odds ratio (OR) for implant failure between four splinted implants and more than four splinted implants.

Results Twenty-eight studies were included in the systematic review. The survival rate of implants appeared to be higher when at least four implants were placed to support the overdenture, compared to less than four implants. The survival rate of overdentures and the patient satisfaction were not influenced by the number of implants.

The metanalysis could only be performed to compare the implant survival rate of a four splinted implants group and more than 4 splinted implants group, without significant differences between both groups (OR = 0.39; 95 % CI: 0.14, 1.14; p = 0.09).

Conclusions Although the placement of at least four implants to support a maxillary overdenture seems to report higher implant survival rates, further studies are needed to confirm this conclusion. No differences were found for overdenture survival rates or patient satisfaction according to the number of implants.

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Correspondence to Rodrigo Martín-Cabezas.

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Guenin, C., Martín-Cabezas, R. How many implants are necessary to stabilise an implant-supported maxillary overdenture?. Evid Based Dent 21, 28–29 (2020).

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