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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Jan 25;(1):CD003607.

Interventions for replacing missing teeth: bone augmentation techniques for dental implant treatment.

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  • 1School of Dentistry, University of Manchester, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Higher Cambridge Street, Manchester, UK, M15 6FH.



Dental implants require sufficient bone to be adequately stabilised. For some patients implant treatment would not be an option without bone augmentation. A variety of materials and surgical techniques are available for bone augmentation.


General objectives: To test the null hypothesis of no difference in the success, function, morbidity and patient satisfaction between different bone augmentation techniques for dental implant treatment.


(A) to test whether and when augmentation procedures are necessary; (B) to test which is the most effective augmentation technique for specific clinical indications. Trials were divided into three broad categories according to different indications for the bone augmentation techniques: (1) major vertical or horizontal bone augmentation or both; (2) implants placed in extraction sockets; (3) fenestrated implants.


The Cochrane Oral Health Group's Trials Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched. Several dental journals were handsearched. The bibliographies of review articles were checked, and personal references were searched. More than 55 implant manufacturing companies were also contacted. Last electronic search was conducted on 1 October 2005.


Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of different techniques and materials for augmenting bone for implant treatment reporting the outcome of implant therapy at least to abutment connection.


Screening of eligible studies, assessment of the methodological quality of the trials and data extraction were conducted independently and in duplicate. Authors were contacted for any missing information. Results were expressed as random-effects models using weighted mean differences for continuous outcomes and odd ratios for dichotomous outcomes with 95% confidence intervals. The statistical unit of the analysis was the patient.


Thirteen RCTs out of 29 potentially eligible trials reporting the outcome of 330 patients were suitable for inclusion. Since different techniques were evaluated in different trials, no meta-analysis could be performed. Six trials evaluated different techniques for vertical or horizontal bone augmentation or both. Four trials evaluated different techniques of bone grafting for implants placed in extraction sockets and three trials evaluated different techniques to treat bone dehiscence or fenestrations around implants.


Major bone grafting procedures of extremely resorbed mandibles may not be justified. Bone substitutes (Bio-Oss or Cerasorb) may replace autogenous bone for sinus lift procedures of extremely atrophic sinuses. Both guided bone regeneration (GBR) procedures and distraction osteogenesis can augment bone vertically, but it is unclear which is the most efficient technique. It is unclear whether augmentation procedures at immediate single implants placed in fresh extraction sockets are needed, and which is the most effective augmentation procedure, however, sites treated with barrier + Bio-Oss showed a higher position of the gingival margin, when compared to sites treated with barriers alone. Non-resorbable barriers at fenestrated implants regenerated more bone than no barriers, however it remains unclear whether such bone is of benefit to the patient. It is unclear which is the most effective technique for augmenting bone around fenestrated implants. No bone promoting molecule has been shown to be effective or necessary in conjunction with dental implant treatment. The use of particulated autogenous bone from intraoral locations, also taken with dedicated aspirators, might be associated with an increased risk of infective complications. These findings are based on few trials including few patients, having sometimes short follow up, and being often judged to be at high risk of bias.

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