Effect of dental implant therapy on the preservation of orofacial tissues: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Clinical Oral Implants Research


alveolar bone resorption, dental implant, implant therapy, masseter muscle thickness, orofacial tissue, tooth survival







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OBJECTIVE: Fundamentally, this review addresses the following question: In partially or fully edentulous patients, do implant-supported dental prostheses preserve orofacial tissues when compared to conventional prostheses or no therapy?

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was conducted according to the 2020 PRISMA guidelines for systematic reviews. Electronic searches were conducted at PubMed and Embase databases followed by manual search. Clinical studies comparing the effect of implant-supported prostheses with conventional rehabilitation or no treatment on alveolar bone resorption, remaining teeth, and jaw muscle thickness were considered for inclusion. A qualitative synthesis was conducted with all included studies, and data from selected studies were pooled quantitatively to perform a meta-analysis.

RESULTS: A total of 14 studies were selected for analysis. Six studies reported on the effect of implant therapy on alveolar bone resorption (n = 453), six on the remaining teeth (n = 1014), while four studies evaluated masseter muscle thickness (n = 158). The results of the meta-analyses assessing alveolar bone resorption in the posterior mandible and in the anterior area of the maxilla, both fixed and random effects models, yielded no benefit of rehabilitation with implant-supported prostheses when compared to conventional prostheses. For masseter bone thickness, however, a significant benefit for implant-supported prosthesis was observed.

CONCLUSIONS: This systematic review and meta-analysis were unable to unequivocally answer the focus question. There are some indicators of the benefit of implant-supported prostheses over conventional prostheses or no therapy in preserving orofacial tissues, particularly for masseter muscle thickness. However, the evidence is still insufficient to confirm such perception.


The authors would like to express their gratitude to the International Team for Implantology (ITI), Dr. Martin Schimmel, and Dr. Mauricio Araújo for their support and contribution to this manuscript.



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