The aim of this study was to assess the survival rate of titanium implants placed in irradiated jaws. MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CENTRAL were searched for studies assessing implants that had been placed in nongrafted sites of irradiated patients. Random effects meta-analyses assessed implant loss in irradiated versus nonirradiated patients and in irradiated patients treated with hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy. Of 1,051 potentially eligible publications, 15 were included. A total of 10,150 implants were assessed in the included studies, and of these, 1,689 (14.3%) had been placed in irradiated jaws. The mean survival rate in the studies ranged from 46.3% to 98.0%. The pooled estimates indicated a significant increase in the risk of implant failure in irradiated patients (risk ratio: 2.74; 95% confidence interval: 1.86, 4.05; p < .00001) and in maxillary sites (risk ratio: 5.96; 95% confidence interval: 2.71, 13.12; p < .00001). Conversely, HBO therapy did not reduce the risk of implant failure (risk ratio: 1.28; 95% confidence interval: 0.19, 8.82; p = .80). Radiotherapy was linked to higher implant failure in the maxilla, and HBO therapy did not improve implant survival. Most included publications reported data on machined implants, and only 3 studies on HBO therapy were included. Overall, implant therapy appears to be a viable treatment option for reestablishing adequate occlusion and masticatory conditions in irradiated patients.
* This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.