Minimal invasiveness at dental implant placement: A systematic review with meta‐analyses on flapless fully guided surgery

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Flapless and fully guided implant placement has the potential to maximize efficacy outcomes and at the same time to minimize surgical invasiveness. The aim of the current systematic review was to answer the following PICO question: “In adult human subjects undergoing dental implant placement (P), is minimally invasive flapless computer-aided fully guided (either dynamic or static computer-aided implant placement (sCAIP)) (I) superior to flapped conventional (free-handed implant placement (FHIP) or cast-based/drill partially guided implant placement (dPGIP)) surgery (C), in terms of efficacy, patient morbidity, long-term prognosis, and costs (O)?” Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) fulfilling specific inclusion criteria established to answer the PICO question were included. Two review authors independently searched for eligible studies, screened the titles and abstracts, performed full-text analysis, extracted the data from the published reports, and performed the risk of bias assessment. In cases of disagreement, a third review author took the final decision during ad hoc consensus meetings. The study results were summarized using random effects meta-analyses, which were based (wherever possible) on individual patient data (IPD). A total of 10 manuscripts reporting on five RCTs, involving a total of 124 participants and 449 implants, and comparing flapless sCAIP with flapped FHIP/cast-based partially guided implant placement (cPGIP), were included. There was no RCT analyzing flapless dynamic computer-aided implant placement (dCAIP) or flapped dPGIP. Intergroup meta-analyses indicated less depth deviation (difference in means (MD) = −0.28 mm; 95% confidence interval (CI): −0.59 to 0.03; moderate certainty), angular deviation (MD = −3.88 degrees; 95% CI: −7.00 to −0.77; high certainty), coronal (MD = −0.6 mm; 95% CI: −1.21 to 0.01; low certainty) and apical (MD = −0.75 mm; 95% CI: −1.43 to −0.07; moderate certainty) three-dimensional bodily deviations, postoperative pain (MD = −17.09 mm on the visual analogue scale (VAS); 95% CI: −33.38 to −0.80; low certainty), postoperative swelling (MD = −6.59 mm on the VAS; 95% CI: −19.03 to 5.85; very low certainty), intraoperative discomfort (MD = −9.36 mm on the VAS; 95% CI: −17.10 to −1.61) and surgery duration (MD = −24.28 minutes; 95% CI: −28.62 to −19.95) in flapless sCAIP than in flapped FHIP/cPGIP. Despite being more accurate than flapped FHIP/cPGIP, flapless sCAIP still resulted in deviations with respect to the planned position (intragroup meta-analytic means: 0.76 mm in depth, 2.57 degrees in angular, 1.43 mm in coronal, and 1.68 in apical three-dimensional bodily position). Moreover, flapless sCAIP presented a 12% group-specific intraoperative complication rate, resulting in an inability to place the implant with this protocol in 7% of cases. Evidence regarding more clinically relevant outcomes of efficacy (implant survival and success, prosthetically and biologically correct positioning), long-term prognosis, and costs, is currently scarce. When the objective is to guarantee minimal invasiveness at implant placement, clinicians could consider the use of flapless sCAIP. A proper case selection and consideration of a safety margin are, however, suggested.
CRUE-CSIC (Acuerdos Transformativos 2022)