This paper reports the results of using osseointegrated titanium implants as abutments for overdenture restorations in the mandibles of 62 edentulous patients. All of these patients were edentulous for several years and required complete dentures. Six months after prosthodontic treatment, two implants (ITI, Straumann) were placed with consideration of the denture base and morphologic aspects of the mandibular residual ridge. The retention devices consisted of a bar connector or single ball-shaped precision attachments. Three or four implants splinted with a bar were placed in a control group of 11 patients. Attached keratinized gingiva (>=22 mm) surrounded approximately 48% of the buccal and 55% of the lingual implant sites. Evaluation after periods of 6 to 66 months postoperatively revealed good clinical results with five patients lost to recall in 1989. Two implants were lost after overdenture insertion. The findings suggest that two implants may adequately serve as retention for a mandibular complete denture and that attached gingiva surrounding the implants does not seem to be prerequisite for healthy function.
Keywords: edentulous mandible, overdenture, titanium implants