In many areas of restorative dentistry, metal-free materials offer an alternative to metal-based restorations while ensuring high levels of biocompatibility and esthetics. Rapidly evolving CAD/CAM technology has significantly expanded the range of materials available, providing access to materials classes and their combinations not previously available within conventional manufacturing, such as zirconia ceramics and hybrid ceramics. In addition, digital methods offer previously unavailable options in diagnostics, greater planning reliability, better material quality through standardization of the manufacturing process, and reproducibility - significant benefits that can be used to advantage, especially in oral implantology. Even though technological progress in the field of metal-free materials has given rise to considerable improvements in their mechanical properties over the decades, their clinical long-term success is still very much dependent on an appropriate indication and proper material selection, on the knowledge and skills of the dental practitioner and dental technician, and on an adequate occlusion concept. The high rate of innovation - both with regard to the materials themselves and to CAD/CAM technology - therefore requires an adequate level of prior knowledge to sensibly and successfully implement the wide range of possibilities now open. It is becoming more and more puzzling for users to find their way around the many different new techniques and materials. This review article provides an up-to-date overview of the possibilities and limitations of metal-free implant-supported single-tooth restorations. This first part discusses abutments and cemented crowns. Resultant treatment concepts are presented and evaluated based on clinical examples.
Keywords: CAD/CAM; abutments; hybrid abutments; implant prosthetics; implant-supported crowns; lithium disilicate; lithium silicate; monolithic restorations; polymers; titanium adhesive bases; zirconia; zirconium oxide.