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Eur J Oral Implantol. 2016;9 Suppl 1:S69-88.

Preoperative radiological evaluation of missing single teeth: A review.



Missing single teeth can be treated in several ways and preoperative radiological evaluation varies accordingly. The main area of controversy relates to the need for cross-sectional imaging in the context of implant treatment. In this context, the aim of the systematic component of this review was to determine whether the use of additional cross-sectional imaging has any impact on diagnostic thinking, treatment planning or outcome, compared with conventional imaging alone. An additional aim was to present information relating to diagnostic efficacy, dose of radiation, economic aspects of imaging and selection criteria.


PubMed/MEDLINE, OVID/Embase and the Cochrane central register of controlled trials were searched up to and including June 2015. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they compared the impact of conventional and cross-sectional imaging when placing implants. Quality assessment of studies was performed. Synthesis was qualitative.


Twelve studies were included, all of which had a 'before-after' design. Only three of these were limited to single implant treatments with none limited to immediate implants. There were methodological problems with most of the studies and results were sometimes contradictory regarding the impact of cross-sectional imaging.


It is tentatively suggested that cross-sectional imaging may not be required in straightforward, unchallenging, cases of missing single teeth being considered for implant treatment. Beyond this, no strong evidence exists to inform the choice of imaging. Existing guidelines on preoperative imaging for missing single teeth are not unanimous in their recommendations, either for implant or non-implant treatments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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