Objective: The aim of this in vitro study was to investigate, on ITI solid abutments, the retention values of single crowns fabricated using an alternative prosthetic solution: secondary cast superstructure luted to an electroformed primary coping.
Materials and methods: Fifty standard 4.1 mm ITI implants and 5.5 mm high ITI machined abutments were assembled and mounted in acrylic resin. Implant/abutment assemblies were randomly divided into two groups. In the test group, primary galvanic caps were directly fabricated on implant abutments (A.G.C. Micro machine), and a secondary cast noble alloy superstructure was luted on each primary galvanic cap with a resin cement (Nimetic Cem). In the control group, prefabricated burn-out caps were used for casting the metal frameworks. Test and control crowns were cemented using a resin cement (Panavia 21). After storage at 37 degrees for 24 h, the specimens were subjected to a pull-out test using an Instron universal testing machine. The load required to dislodge each sample and the respective mode of failure were recorded. Means and standard deviations of loads at failure were analyzed using ANOVA. Statistical significance was set at P< or =0.05.
Results: The retention values (+/-SD) of loads at failure were 67.26 (+/-16.61) for the test group and 44.03 (+/-9.45) for the control group. In the test group no separation occurred between the electroformed (galvanic) primary cap and the secondary superstructure.
Conclusions: The results showed that this prosthetic solution is superior on retentive performance than the conventional cast framework. An added clinical advantage of this novel method is its potential to provide a totally passive fit. Further in vitro and in vivo studies involving multiple-unit restorations are needed in order to more generally validate this prosthetic concept.