Objectives: To critically review the evidence-based literature on immediate loading of implants with fixed full-arch prostheses in the maxilla to determine 1) currently recommended performance criteria and 2) the outcomes that can be expected with this procedure.
Study desing: Studies from 2001 to 2011 on immediate loading with fixed full-arch maxillary prostheses were reviewed. Clinical series with at least 5 patients and 12 months of follow-up were included. Case reports, studies with missing data and repeatedly published studies were excluded. In each study the following was assessed: type of study, implant type, number of patients, number of implants, number of implants per patient, use of post-extraction implants, minimum implant length and diameter, type of prosthesis, time until loading, implant survival rate, prosthesis survival rate, marginal bone loss, complications and mean follow-up time. Criteria for patient selection, implant primary stability and bone regeneration were also studied.
Results: Thirteen studies were included, reporting a total of 2484 immediately loaded implants in 365 patients. Currently accepted performance criteria regarding patient and implant selection, and surgical and prosthetic procedures were deduced from the reviewed articles. Implant survival rates went from 87.5% to 100%, prosthesis survival rates from 93.8% to 100% and radiographic marginal bone loss from 0.8 mm to 1.6 mm.No intraoperative complications and only minor prosthetic complications were reported.
Conclusions: The literature on immediate loading with fixed full-arch prostheses in the maxilla shows that a successful outcome can be expected if adequate criteria are used to evaluate the patient, choose the implant and perform the surgical and prosthetic treatment. Lack of homogeneity within studies limits the relevance of the conclusions that can be drawn, and more controlled randomized studies are necessary to enable comparison between the immediate and the conventional loading procedures.