BackgroundAll-on-4 concept allows an immediate restoration, which is frequently a provisional restoration (PR), and will be replaced by a definitive restoration (DR) a few months later. However, this approach involves much higher treatment efforts and costs, compared to a DR immediately after implantation. PRs were mostly incorporated in the introductory phase of the All-on-4 concept in our respective clinics. Today, PRs are only used for referred patients and bimaxillary restorations. The aim of the study was to investigate whether PRs and DRs have comparable success rates.MethodsA total of 126 patients with 136 All-on-4 restorations supported by 544 implants were included in this retrospective cohort study. The observation period was 1 year. In 42 cases, a PR was placed initially and replaced by a DR 3 months later. In 94 cases, a DR was placed immediately. Biological, technical, and severe (loss of an implant or PR/DR) complications associated with PRs and DRs were compared. The absence of a serious complication was considered a success.ResultsA total of 27 patients were affected by 33 complications, 19 biological (2 PR and 17 DR) and 14 technical (6 in PR and 8 in DR) in the first 3 months. Eight patients had ten severe complications (1 PR and 9 DR). Severe complications were all implant losses. Implant survival rate was 98.2% (99.4% PR and 97.6 DR), and restoration survival rate was 94.4% (97.6% PR and 92.6% DR). Six out of the ten implant losses occurred in the posterior maxillae of male patients. After 3 months, ten complications occurred in six patients within 1 year. One of these complications was an implant loss in the posterior maxillae of a male patient.ConclusionPRs and DRs showed comparable complication rates during the observation period. Only in male patients did implant losses occur more frequently in the posterior maxilla.