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The results of clinical tests for the Bredent, Sky fast & fixed implant system have been published lately. The system uses the latest technology to give patients immediate loading of full bridges on a reduced number of implants. Although not independent, the clinical tests collect data on patients who have had inplants fitted using the Sky fast and fixed system up to 5 years previously. The implant survival rate was 97.3%.
The system has been developed by German company Bredent who have been developing and producing dental products for over 37 years. The procedure is designed so as the patient can have extractions, implant placement and a laboratory made provisional restoration in one visit. The provisional restoration is worn for 2-3 months while healing is closely monitored giving the patient and dentist time to consider the aesthetics of the final restoration. The system is similiar the All-on-4 dental implants developed by Nobel Biocare.
The system is designed to place the bridge with 6 implants in the maxillary (upper jaw) and 4 implants in the mandibular (lower jaw). Implants are placed straight down at the front of the jaw and at an angle at the posterior. 35 degree abutments then allow for the bridge to fit on top. Implants placed at an angle allow for larger implants to be placed resulting in a greater bone to implant area, encouraging increased osseointegration and stability.The system uses BlueSky implants which are also produced by Bredent.
The research was conducted by G Bayer, F Kistler, S Kistler, S Adler and J Neugebauer. The study tested 66 implant patients who had a total of 134 implants placed. As stated above the implant survival rate was 97.3% at up to 5 years after placement. The study also obsevered any differences in the survivial of angled or axial implants. There was no statistically significant difference. As regards patient feedback, the study found that patients were happy with having a fixed restoration with only one surgical procedure and reduced treatment time.
The book was published in order to give information about the system to dentists in the hope that they will adopt the system. It predicts that demand for this and similar dental bridge systems will be fuelled by an ageing population in the UK, who are used to a higher quality of life than their predecessors. The preface is written by Dr Phil Bennett who sees these implant supported full dental bridges as a replacement for dentures. He could be right as they are certainly a more attractive option. Currently however dentures are funded by the NHS while dental implants on the NHS are only available in extreme cases so cost is challenge they will face.
In addition some experts have expressed concerns regarding the longevity of these dental bridges. We have discussed these in more detail on our review of All-On-4 dental implants. Although these clinical trials have been positive there is a lack of long term data available to support dental bridges on a reduced number of implants. Concerns citied include:
- The reduced number of implants supporting the bridge may not last in the long term under day to day pressures put on the teeth and implants
- Some bone atrophy may still occur between the implants
- If the implants fail replacing implants is a very complicated procedure
While conerns about the longevity of these new systems may be valid they are considerably cheaper than individual dental implants. The rates of success in these tests are positive particularly in the context of wider clinical testing on dental implants.