better one than none: the single mandibular midline implant
Edentulism is still very common in elderly people all over the world. However only a minority of edentulous patients can effort multiple implants to retain their full prostheses. While most edentulous patients get along with their prosthesis in the maxilla, many have severe problems with their mandibular prosthesis.
The use of a single implant in the middle of the mandible to stabilize a mandibular full prosthesis in elderly patients has been described over 25 years ago as social treatment option for edentulous patients who cannot afford 2 or more implants. In the meantime the not indisputable treatment concept has been evaluated in various clinical trials. This lecture reviews the currently available clinical data and illustrates the clinical outcome after five years of selected patient cases. Over the first five years the published clinical studies reveal an excellent clinical outcome using a single implant in the middle of the mandible, provided that modern implant surfaces are used and immediate loading of the ball attachment is avoided. However, maintenance requirements of dentures retained by one implant only might be higher than using 2 or more implants to support a mandibular full prosthesis.