Systematic review and meta-analysis of welding procedures in one-piece cast implant-supported frameworks
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The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the effect of welding techniques on implant-supported prostheses and determine whether they contribute to a better adaptation compared with a one-piece cast. A search was conducted using the PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases, and articles published until November 2017 were obtained from these databases. This review followed the PRISMA criteria and is registered on the PROSPERO platform (CRD42017081865). The PICO question was Do welding procedures in one-piece cast implant-supported frameworks influence implant/abutment-framework marginal misfits? Eleven studies were selected for a qualitative analysis, and seven studies were selected for a quantitative analysis. A total of 189 specimens were fabricated using different materials (cp-Ti, Ni-Cr, Cr-Co, and noble alloys), and welding techniques such as laser welding, conventional welding, tungsten inert gas, and brazing were applied. A vertical marginal misfit was measured using an optical microscope, a stereomicroscope, and/or a scanning electron microscopy. The qualitative analysis in the studies demonstrated a positive effect of the welding techniques on the adaptation of the infrastructures. The meta-analysis confirmed the results (p < 0.00001; MD:-36.14; 95%CI:-48.69 to-23.59). Within the limitations of this study and regarding the heterogeneity of the samples, we conclude that the soldering point technique is effective for obtaining relatively low values of marginal misfit, with laser welding as the most effective technique. However, additional studies were recommended due to the heterogeneity of different variables (alloys, connection, and misfit evaluation) in the included studies.
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