Comparison of three different types of implant-supported fixed dental prostheses: A long-term retrospective study of clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness

Clin Oral Implants Res. 2019 Apr;30(4):295-305. doi: 10.1111/clr.13415. Epub 2019 Mar 29.


Objective: To study the performance of 2-3 posterior bone-level dental implants constructed with either three non-splinted crowns (NSC), three splinted crowns (SC), or a 3-unit implant-supported bridge over two implants (ISB).

Material and methods: Patients treated with three metal-ceramic NSC, SC, or an ISB were included in the present retrospective study. Implant survival and success rate as well as all biological and technical complications were collected. The cost associated with each of the treatment options was evaluated in the comparative analysis.

Results: One hundred and forty-five patients (40 NSC, 52 SC, and 53 in the ISB) receiving 382 bone-level implants (120 NSC, 106 ISB, and 156 SC) were included (mean follow-up of 76.2 months). Lack of success was observed in 33.8% of the total patient sample, being lower in the ISB group. Implant survival rates were 92.5% in the NSC, 100% in the ISB, and 88.5% in the SC, with significant difference noted between the ISB and SC (p = 0.01). Overall, 9.9% of the total implants were found to have peri-implantitis (PI), with 16.7% in the SC, 7.5% in the NSC, and 2.8% in the ISB. Patients presenting prosthodontic complications were significantly higher in NSC (32.5%) than ISB (13.2%) and SC (15.4%). The total cost of the ISB group was significantly lower when compared to the NSC and SC groups (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: An 3-unit implant-supported bridge restoring 2 implants seems to present the most ideal long-term therapeutic solution, among the investigated approaches in this study, in rehabilitating a 3-unit edentulous area.

Keywords: dental implants; implant-supported fixed dental prosthesis; implants; partially edentulous; splinted.

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Crowns
  • Dental Implants*
  • Dental Prosthesis Design
  • Dental Prosthesis, Implant-Supported*
  • Dental Restoration Failure
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Dental Implants