Purpose: To evaluate the current literature and provide clinical recommendations related to the number of implants, implant characteristics, loading protocols, survival rates, biologic and mechanical complications, patient satisfaction, and financial considerations for mandibular implant-supported full-arch prostheses.
Materials and Methods: A PubMed/MEDLINE search for literature published between January 1, 1980 and February 8, 2019, was performed for systematic reviews on this topic. The PICO question was: In mandibular fully edentulous patients treated with implant full-arch prostheses, is there any difference between fixed and removable implant prostheses in terms of implant and prosthesis survival rates? Only systematic reviews with or without meta-analyses were included. The findings varied based on the type of implant full-arch prosthesis.
Results: High survival rates for implants and prostheses have been reported for fixed and removable implant full-arch prostheses in the mandible. Immediate loading procedures present with high survival rates for both fixed and removable prostheses. There are differences in the number of implants, implant characteristics, complications, and financial implications between these two types of prostheses, which clinicians need to account for as part of the treatment planning process.
Conclusion: Implant-supported overdentures and implant-supported fixed complete dentures represent clinically successful treatment approaches. In cases where both treatment options are indicated, patient expectations and cost should be the determining factors for selecting a treatment modality.