Background: Patients with a Kennedy class I situation often encounter problems with their removable partial denture (RPD).
Purpose: To assess the functional benefits of implant support to RPDs, the clinical performance of the implants and teeth and to determine the most favorable implant position: the premolar (PM) or molar (M) region.
Materials and methods: Thirty subjects received 2 PM and 2 M implants. A new RPD was made. Implant support was provided 3 months later. In a cross-over model, randomly, 2 implants (PM or M) supported the RPD during 3 months. Masticatory performance was assessed using the mixing ability index (MAI). Clinical and radiographic parameters were assessed. Non-parametric statistical analysis for related samples and post hoc comparisons were performed.
Results: Masticatory performance differed significantly between the stages of treatment (P
Conclusions: Implant support to a Kennedy class I RPD significantly improves masticatory function, regardless of implant position. No major clinical problems were observed.