Dental implants: only low quality evidence for implants placed in maxillary tuberosity


The placement of implants in the maxillary tuberosity has been suggested as a potential alternative to other more complex procedures such a bone grafting as a means of restoring the posterior maxilla.

The aim of this review was to assess the survival rate for dental implants placed in the tuberosity of the maxilla.


Searches were conducted in the PubMed/Medline, Embase, Science Direct, and the Cochrane Library databases. This was supplemented by hand searches in a number of relevant journals. Prospective and retrospective English language studies that reported on a minimum of 5 patients for more than 6 months were considered.


  • No randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were identified.
  • 5 studies (2 retrospective 3, prospective) were included.
  • Average follow up 52 months (range 6-144 months)
  • The 5 studies involved 113 patients and 289 implants.
  • 149 implants were placed in the tuberosity region
  • There were 8 failures (success rate 94.6%)


The authors concluded

Implants placed in the maxillary tuberosity are a predictable alternative for the treatment of patients with insufficient bone volume in the maxillary region. However, randomized trials are needed to assess the effectiveness of this treatment.


The author searched a number of databases for this review and only a small number of studies involving a small pool of patients were located. This is possibly as this is a less favoured site for clinicians, although the authors suggests that it could be considered a conservative choice for restoration in the posterior maxilla as it may avoid bone grafting or sinus lifts where there has been sinus pneumatisation. In addition to the lack of RCTs the authors considered the quality of the included studies to be low so the findings to this review should be interpreted with caution.


Lopes LF, da Silva VF, Santiago JF Jr, Panzarini SR, Pellizzer EP. Placement of dental implants in the maxillary tuberosity: a systematic review. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2014 Sep 23. pii: S0901-5027(14)00302-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijom.2014.08.005. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 25260833.

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