Antibiotics to prevent complications following dental implant treatment.

M. Esposito, P. Coulthard, R. Oliver, P. Thomsen, H. V. Worthington

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    BACKGROUND: Some dental implant failures may be due to bacterial contamination at implant insertion. Infections around biomaterials are difficult to treat and almost all infected implants have to be removed. In general, antibiotic prophylaxis in surgery is only indicated for patients at risk of infectious endocarditis, for patients with reduced host-response, when surgery is performed in infected sites, in cases of extensive and prolonged surgical interventions and when large foreign materials are implanted. To minimise infections after dental implant placement various prophylactic systemic antibiotic regimens have been suggested. More recent protocols recommended short term prophylaxis, if antibiotics have to be used. With the administration of antibiotics adverse events may occur, ranging from diarrhoea to life-threatening allergic reactions. Another major concern associated with the widespread use of antibiotics is the selection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The use of antibiotics in implant dentistry is controversial. It would be useful to know whether prophylactic antibiotics are effective in reducing failures of dental implants. OBJECTIVES: To assess the beneficial or harmful effects of the administration of prophylactic antibiotics for dental implant placement versus no antibiotic/placebo administration and if antibiotics are of benefit, to find which type, dosage and duration is the most effective. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Oral Health Group's Trials Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE and EMBASE. We handsearched several dental journals. No language restrictions were applied. Personal contacts and manufacturers of dental implants were contacted to identify unpublished trials. Most recent search: March 2003. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled clinical trials (RCTs) with a follow up of at least 3 months comparing the administration of various prophylactic antibiotics regimens and no antibiotics/placebo to patients undergoing dental implant placement. Outcome measures were prosthesis failures, implant failures, postoperative infections and adverse events (gastrointestinal, hypersensitivity). DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Screening of eligible studies, assessment of the methodological quality of the trials and data extraction were to be conducted in duplicate and independently by two reviewers. Results were to be expressed as random effects models using weighted mean differences for continuous outcomes and relative risk for dichotomous outcomes with 95% confidence interval. Heterogeneity was to be investigated including both clinical and methodological factors. MAIN RESULTS: No RCTs were identified. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: There is not appropriate scientific evidence to recommend or discourage the use of prophylactic systemic antibiotics to prevent complications and failures of dental implants. Even though the present review did not assess the effectiveness of prophylactic antibiotics for patients at risk for endocarditis, it seems sensible to recommend the use of prophylactic antibiotics for patients at high and moderate risk for endocarditis, with immunodeficiencies, metabolic diseases, irradiated in the head and neck area and when an extensive or prolonged surgery is anticipated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)CD004152
    JournalCochrane database of systematic reviews (Online : Update Software)
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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