Interventions for replacing missing teeth: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for irradiated patients who require dental implants

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Background: Dental implants offer one way to replace missing teeth. Patients who have undergone radiotherapy and those who have also undergone surgery for cancer in the head and neck region may particularly benefit from reconstruction with implants. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) has been advocated to improve the success of implant treatment in patients who have undergone radiotherapy but this remains a controversial issue. Objectives: To compare the success, morbidity, patient satisfaction and cost effectiveness of dental implant treatment carried out with and without HBO in irradiated patients. Search methods: The following electronic databases were searched: the Cochrane Oral Health Group's Trials Register (to 17 June 2013), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2013, Issue 5), MEDLINE via OVID (1946 to 17 June 2013) and EMBASE via OVID (1980 to 17 June 2013). No restrictions were placed on the language or date of publication when searching the electronic databases. We checked the bibliographies of relevant clinical trials and review articles for studies outside the searched journals. We wrote to authors of the identified randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and to more than 55 oral implant manufacturers; we used personal contacts and we made a request on an internet discussion group in an attempt to identify unpublished or ongoing RCTs. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of HBO therapy for irradiated patients requiring dental implants. Data collection and analysis: Screening of eligible studies, assessment of the methodological quality of the trials and data extraction were conducted in duplicate and independently by two review authors. Results were analysed using random-effects models to determine mean differences for continuous outcomes and risk ratios for dichotomous outcomes, with 95% confidence intervals. Main results: Only one RCT, providing very low quality evidence, was identified and included. Thirteen patients received HBO therapy while another 13 did not. Two to six implants were placed in people with fully edentulous mandibles to be rehabilitated with bar-retained overdentures. One year after implant loading, four patients had died from each group. One patient, treated with HBO, developed an osteoradionecrosis and lost all implants so the prosthesis could not be provided. Five patients in the HBO group had at least one implant failure versus two in the control group. There were no statistically significant differences for prosthesis and implant failures, postoperative complications and patient satisfaction between the two groups. Authors' conclusions: Despite the limited amount of clinical research available, it appears that HBO therapy in irradiated patients requiring dental implants may not offer any appreciable clinical benefits. There is a definite need for more RCTs to ascertain the effectiveness of HBO in irradiated patients requiring dental implants. These trials ought to be of a high quality and reported as recommended by the CONSORT statement ( Each clinical centre may have limited numbers of patients and it is likely that trials will need to be multicentred.




Esposito, M., & Worthington, H. V. (2013, September 30). Interventions for replacing missing teeth: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for irradiated patients who require dental implants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

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