Interventions for replacing missing teeth: different types of dental implants

M Esposito, L Murray-Curtis, M G Grusovin, P Coulthard, H V Worthington
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, (4): CD003815

BACKGROUND: Dental implants are available in different materials, shapes and with different surface characteristics. In particular, numerous implant surface modifications have been developed for enhancing clinical performance.

OBJECTIVES: To test the null hypothesis of no difference in clinical performance between various root-formed osseointegrated dental implant types.

SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Oral Health Group's Trials Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE and EMBASE. Handsearching included several dental journals. We checked the bibliographies of relevant clinical trials and review articles for studies outside the handsearched journals. We wrote to authors of the identified randomised controlled trials (RCTs), to more than 55 oral implant manufacturers; we used personal contacts and we asked on an internet discussion group in an attempt to identify unpublished or ongoing RCTs. No language restriction was applied. The last electronic search was conducted on 13 June 2007.

SELECTION CRITERIA: All RCTs of oral implants comparing osseointegrated implants with different materials, shapes and surface properties having a follow up of at least 1 year.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Screening of eligible studies, assessment of the methodological quality of the trials and data extraction were conducted in duplicate and independently by two review authors. Results were expressed as random-effects models using mean differences for continuous outcomes and risk ratios (RR) for dichotomous outcomes with 95% confidence intervals (CI).

MAIN RESULTS: Forty different RCTs were identified. Sixteen of these RCTs, reporting results from a total of 771 patients, were suitable for inclusion in the review. Eighteen different implant types were compared with a follow up ranging from 1 to 5 years. All implants were made in commercially pure titanium and had different shapes and surface preparations. On a 'per patient' rather than 'per implant' basis no significant differences were observed between various implant types for implant failures. There were statistically significant differences for perimplant bone level changes on intraoral radiographs in three comparisons in two trials. In one trial there was more bone loss only at 1 year for IMZ implants compared to Brånemark (mean difference 0.60 mm; 95% CI 0.01 to 1.10) and to ITI implants (mean difference 0.50 mm; 95% CI 0.01 to 0.99). In the other trial Southern implants displayed more bone loss at 5 years than Steri-Oss implants (mean difference -0.35 mm; 95% CI -0.70 to -0.01). However this difference disappeared in the meta-analysis. More implants with rough surfaces were affected by perimplantitis (RR 0.80; 95% CI 0.67 to 0.96) meaning that turned implant surfaces had a 20% reduction in risk of being affected by perimplantitis over a 3-year period.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Based on the available results of RCTs, there is limited evidence showing that implants with relatively smooth (turned) surfaces are less prone to lose bone due to chronic infection (perimplantitis) than implants with rougher surfaces. On the other hand, there is no evidence showing that any particular type of dental implant has superior long-term success. These findings are based on a few RCTs, often at high risk of bias, with few participants and relatively short follow-up periods. More RCTs should be conducted, with follow up of at least 5 years including a sufficient number of patients to detect a true difference. Such trials should be reported according to the CONSORT recommendations (

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