A systematic review and meta-analysis of 3-unit fixed dental prostheses: are the results of 2 abutment implants comparable to the results of 2 abutment teeth?

C W P Pol, G M Raghoebar, W Kerdijk, G C Boven, M S Cune, H J A Meijer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


The purpose of the systematic review and meta-analysis was to compare the performance of 3-unit bridges on teeth with 3-unit bridges on implants, evaluating survival of the bridges, survival of the teeth or implants, condition of the hard and soft tissues surrounding the supports, complications and patient-reported outcome measures (PROM) after a mean observation period of at least 1 year. A literature search was conducted using a combination of the search terms: fixed partial denture and fixed dental prostheses (FDPs). An electronic search for data published until January 2017 was undertaken using the MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library databases. Eligibility criteria included clinical human studies, either randomised or not, interventional or observational, which evaluated the results of 3-unit FDPs on either 2 implants or 2 abutment teeth. The search identified 1686 unique references. After applying eligibility criteria, 66 articles were included in the analysis. A total of 1973 3-unit FDPs were supported by teeth, and 765 were implant-supported. No significant differences were found either in the survival of the supporting abutments (P = .52; 99% vs 98.7% survival per year) or in the survival of the prostheses (P = .34; 96.4% vs 97.4% survival per year). Both treatments show an almost equally low complication rate, but there is a low level of reporting of hard and soft tissue conditions and PROM. It is concluded that implant-supported 3-unit FDPs seem to be a reliable treatment with survival rates not significantly different from the results of teeth-supported 3-unit FDPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-160
JournalJournal of oral rehabilitation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes



  • dentistry

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