Dental implant prostheses are essentially replacement teeth that are attached to or supported by implants that are surgically placed in the jawbone. The most common implant prostheses include: Single Prosthesis – A crown attached to its own implant, used to replace a single missing tooth. Medical implants are devices or tissues that are placed inside or on the surface of the body. Many implants are prosthetics, intended to replace missing body parts. Other implants deliver medication, monitor body functions, or provide support to organs and tissues.
Implants are connected to the natural teeth in the management of partially edentulous patients. The use of this concept has been a subject of discussion as some authors have recommended it while others stress on the potential complications associated with splinting implants to natural teeth. Purpose: The purpose of this article was to systematically review the literature regarding the rationale, difference in the biomechanical behavior of the implant and the natural teeth, nature of connection, potential complications associated with splinting of implants and teeth, and guidelines to be followed.
Materials and Methods: Various databases like PubMed, Ebscohost, Science Direct were searched between 1980 to December 2011 to retrieve articles regarding the implant natural teeth connection. A manual search for the references from the retrieved articles was also completed. The articles published only in English, randomized clinical trials, prospective and retrospective clinical studies, laboratory and computer generated research were included. Abstracts, opinion articles, technique articles and questionnaire based studies were excluded.
Results: The biomechanical impact of mismatch in the mobility pattern of natural teeth and implants has been controversial. Various complications associated with tooth implant supported prosthesis has been reported with intrusion and implant overloading being the cause of concern. Marginal bone loss associated with overload around the implant has been reported and found to be within acceptable levels. The reports also suggested no significant differences between various types of connections utilized and to use the non rigid connections with caution. Whenever possible implant supported prostheses should be the treatment of choice. However, certain clinical situations demand connecting teeth to implants.