The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the impact of the abutment characteristics on peri-implant tissue health and to identify the most suitable material and surface characteristics.
A protocol was developed aimed to answer the following focused question: "Which is the effect of the modification of the abutment design in regard to the maintenance of the peri-implant soft tissue health?" Further subanalysis aimed to investigate the impact of the abutment material, macroscopic design, surface topography and surface manipulation. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with a follow-up of at least 6 months after implant loading were considered as inclusion criteria. Meta-analyses were performed whenever possible.
Nineteen final publications from thirteen investigations were included. The results from the meta-analysis indicated that zirconia abutments (Zi) experienced less increase in BOP values over time [n = 3; WMD = -26.96; 95% CI (-45.00; -8.92); p = .003] and less plaque accumulation [n = 1; MD = -20.00; 95% CI (-41.47; 1.47); p = .068] when compared with titanium abutments (Ti). Bone loss was influenced by the method of abutment decontamination [n = 1; MD = -0.44; 95% CI (-0.65; -0.23); p < .001]. The rest of the studied outcomes did not show statistically significant differences.
The macroscopic design, the surface topography and the manipulation of the implant abutment did not have a significant influence on peri-implant inflammation. In contrast, the abutment material demonstrated increased BOP values over time for Ti when compared to Zi abutments.