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Funded in part by the VCU Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund.

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June 2020


When implants are restored with cement-retained restorations, prosthetic retrievability can be difficult and often requires sectioning using rotary instruments. Sometimes repeated removals of a cement-retained implant crown are needed such as for treatment of peri-implantitis or immediate implant provisionalization. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of erbium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Er:YAG) laser as a non-invasive treatment modality to remove lithium disilicate crowns from zirconia implant abutments following long-term cementation, repetitive debonding and re-cementation, and short-term retrieval.

Material and methods
Twenty identical lithium disilicate crowns were cemented onto zirconia prefabricated abutments using composite resin cement. Ten cemented crowns were removed at 48 hours after cementation as a short-term group (ST), while another 10 were removed 6 months after cementation as a long-term group (LT). To mimicking repetitive recementation and retrieval, the LT crowns were then recemented and removed after 48 hours as a long-term recemention (LTR) group. The LTR crowns were then again recemented and removed after 48 hours as a long-term repeated recemention (LTRR) group. Er:YAG laser was used to facilitate the retrieval of these crowns. recorded and analyzed using ANOVA and t-test. The surfaces of the crown and the abutment were further examined using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Temperature changes of the abutment and crown upto 10 minutes were also measured and statistically analyzed (paired t-test).

The average times of crown removal from zirconia abutments were 4 minutes (min) and 42 second (sec) in LT to 3 min 24 sec in LTR, and 3 min 12 sec in LTRR and ST groups. LTR took the longest time to remove, statistically (ANOVA and t-test, p < .001). No statistical differences were observed among the removal times of LTR, LTRR, and ST groups (t-test, p = .246, .246 and 1). SEM examination of the material surface showed no visual surface damaging from treatment with Er:YAG laser. The temperatures during irradiation ranged from 18.4°C to 20°C and 22.2°C to 24.5°C (Paired t-test, p < .0001) for the abutment and the crown during irradiation from 1 min to 10 mins.

Long-term cementation can increase time in lithium disilicate crown removal from zirconia abutment using Er:YAG. Er:YAG laser is a non-invasive tool to remove cement-retained implant prostheses and should be considered as a viable alternative to rotary instruments.


© 2019 Deeb et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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VCU Periodontics Publications