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Background: The retention and stability of implant-supported cement-retained bridges with short abutments are crucial factors for long-term success. Various surface treatments have been proposed to enhance retention; however, their comparative effectiveness remains to be fully elucidated. This in vitro study aimed to evaluate the effect of different surface treatments on the retention of implant-supported cement-retained bridges using short abutments.
Methods: Twenty identical implant-supported cement-retained bridges were fabricated, each consisting of a titanium abutment and a zirconia framework. The implants were embedded in acrylic blocks to simulate the short abutment scenario. The samples were randomly divided into four groups (n=5 per group) based on the surface treatment applied to the abutments: Group A (control) - no surface treatment; Group B - sandblasting with alumina particles; Group C - application of a zirconia primer; Group D - application of a resin-based adhesive. A universal testing machine was employed to measure the retention force. All samples were subjected to cyclic loading to simulate oral conditions.
Results: The mean retention force values (measured in Newtons, N) for each group were as follows: Group A (control) - 18.6 ± 1.2 N, Group B - 22.3 ± 1.5 N, Group C - 21.8 ± 1.3 N, and Group D - 25.6 ± 1.8 N. The highest mean retention force was observed in Group D (resin-based adhesive), followed by Group C (zirconia primer), Group B (sandblasting), and Group A (control). Statistical analysis revealed a significant difference in retention force between Group D and the other groups (p<0.05). However, no statistically significant difference was found among Groups A, B, and C (p>0.05).
Conclusion: This in vitro comparative evaluation provides valuable insights into the effect of surface treatments on the retention of implant-supported cement-retained bridges with short abutments. The application of a resin-based adhesive (Group D) yielded the highest retention force, suggesting its potential as an effective surface treatment for improving bridge retention in cases of short abutments. Sandblasting with alumina particles (Group B) and application of a zirconia primer (Group C) also showed promising results, although they did not significantly differ from each other or the control group. These findings highlight the importance of surface treatments in optimizing the retention and stability of cement-retained bridges and may have clinical implications for enhancing treatment outcomes. However, further in vivo studies are warranted to validate these results and ascertain their applicability in clinical settings.
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