Dental implants: evidence on patient expectations mainly cross-sectional


Patients’ perception of treatment has been recognised as important to assessment of healthcare quality for a number of decades. What a patient expects from their treatment is thought to have an impact on their satisfaction with the outcome and be important in achieving good patient reported outcomes (PROMs). The aim of this review was to examine patients’ expectations of dental implants.


The Pubmed, Cochrane, Web of Science and PsychINFO databases were searched. Two reviewers independently screened studies with data being extracted by a single reviewer. Studies in the English language with a clear description of the aim, method and result were considered. Study quality was assessed by two reviewers using the criteria in Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE).   A narrative summary was conducted.


  • 41 studies investigating patients’ expectations in oral health were identified.
  • 10 studies (12 papers) were related to dental implants 8 studies were quantitative and 2 qualitative research.
  • Sample sizes ranged from 9 to 1000 subjects
  • The studies STROBE scores ranged from 13.5 to 18 (total score = 22).
  • There was significant heterogeneity in the assessment instruments used.
  • Expectations relating to aesthetics and function were mainly considered.


The authors concluded

Expectations from dental implants have been investigated in a diversity of approaches within the available literature. The biggest part concerns outcome expectations of improvements in functional and esthetic aspects of treatment. The current findings of research are limited by weak study design and non-standardized instruments which decrease the level of evidence. Unrealistic expectations are often found among patients, which may lead to dissatisfaction with final outcomes. The concept of expectations should be further developed theoretically and experimentally. In addition, relation between expectation and satisfaction should be investigated in future research.


A wide range of databases has been searched for this review. The key concept in this review of ‘expectations’ suffers from some ambiguity of definition a point noted by the reviewers so a wide range of search terms has been employed in order to achieve a sensitive search, which identified over 16,000 references in the initial search. There is a good narrative summary of the included studies and the limitations of the review are highlighted by the authors who also present clear recommendations for future studies.


 Yao J, Tang H, Gao XL, McGrath C, Mattheos N. Patients’ expectations to dental implant: a systematic review of the literature. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2014 Oct 29;12(1):153. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25358599.


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