Statement of problem Crowns cemented on short implant abutments may have insufficient retention. Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of circumferential grooves on the retention of cemented cast copings on implant abutments. Material and methods Sixty similarly-shaped implant abutments were divided into 4 groups (n=15): without grooves, with 1 groove, with 2 grooves, and with 3 grooves. Fifteen identical NiCr cast copings were prepared to fit all 60 abutments. The castings were cemented to each group of abutments with a noneugenol provisional cement (Tempbond NE) and a zinc phosphate cement (Harvard). After thermal cycling and storage for 6 days in a water bath, retention tests were conducted with a tensile testing machine (Instron) (5 mm/min) and retentive forces were recorded. Data were subjected to 1 way-ANOVA, Tukey's (HSD) test, and repeated measures ANOVA (α=.05). Results For the noneugenol temporary cement, group retention values were increased according to the number of grooves ( P<.001). For the zinc phosphate cement, the first groove increased the retention by approximately 60% ( P<.001). The retentive values were higher for the zinc phosphate cement than the provisional cement. The influence of the grooves depended on the type of cement used ( P<.001). Cement remnants were found primarily on the castings for provisional cement and for the plain abutments cemented with zinc phosphate cement. Remnants were found primarily on the abutments for the grooved abutments cemented with zinc phosphate cement. Conclusions The addition of circumferential grooves to implant abutments increased the retention of cement-retained castings. For zinc phosphate cement, 1 groove was as effective as several, whereas for the provisional cement, the retention increased gradually with additional grooves.