The authors identified no report describing implant primary stability obtained by external fixation as a means to achieve osseointegration in craniofacial settings. This article describes a situation in which an implant was placed without direct contact with the resident bone; primary stability was provided by an external device. An edentulous patient was restored with 5 endosseous titanium implants to support a mandibular fixed prosthesis. An implant placed in the right central incisor position was removed after 48 hours and replaced with a shorter and narrower implant without contact with resident bone. Thus, primary stability for the implant was provided by rigid fixation to the prosthesis rather than by bone anchorage. At recall examinations after 6 and 27 months, all implants, including the implant in the right central incisor position, showed clinical and radiographic signs of osseointegration. Resonance frequency analysis indicated acceptable stability and osseointegration for all implants. Observations of this patient suggest that implant osseointegration can be achieved by providing primary stability using a fixed complete denture. Primary bone anchorage/contact does not appear to be critical to the osseointegration process.
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