A Comparative Study of One Implant Versus
Two Replacing a Single Molar

Balshi TJ, Hernandez RE, Pryszlak MC, Rangert B.

Int J Oral Maxillofac Implants. 1996 May-Jun;11(3):372-8.

A comparative study between one and two Brnemark implants replacing a single molar was conducted. Forty-seven individuals comprised two groups of 22 patients treated with one implant and 25 with two implants. A total of 72 implants were placed, 66 (92%) in the mandible and six (8%) in the maxilla. After the first year of function, the success rate was 99%, with only one implant lost. Between the second- and third-year follow-ups, 100% of the implants continued to function in the remaining 46 patients, giving a 3-year cumulative success rate of 99%. The marginal bone loss between 1 and 3 years of function was 0.10 mm (SD 0.20) for the group with one implant and 0.24 mm (SD 0.20) for the group with two implants. No changes were observed in the Sulcus Bleeding Index during the 3-year follow-up. Prosthesis mobility or screw loosening was the most frequent complication and was predominant in the group using one implant (48%), but was substantially reduced in the group using two implants (8%). These mechanical problems, using one implant only, seem to be preventable using a stronger screw joint (CeraOne abutment). Precise centric occlusal contact was established and maintained over the study period, which was thought to contribute to the very high success rate for the single-implant-supported molars, despite their high degree of mechanical problems. This study suggests that implant-supported molars can be effective therapy, and the results confirm the biomechanical analysis that two implants provide more advantageous support than does one.

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