Review finds low quality evidence for treatments of partial edentulism


This review is from the same team that conducted the study we looked at yesterday (Dental Elf 28th Nov 2012) looking at treatments for edentulism. The aim of this review was to identify and critically appraise published studies of treatment methods used in general practice to rehabilitate adult patients with single tooth loss or partial edentulism, with special emphasis on outcomes reported after at least 5 years of follow-up.

PubMed, The Cochrane Central Registry of Controlled Trials, Embase, the National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database, and the Health Economic Evaluation Database were searched with no language limits. Reference lists of included publications were also searched. The literature was divided into two sections single tooth loss and partial edentulism. The review excluded studies of advanced patient cases, such as those in which limited bone volume for implantation required regenerative or augmentation procedures. The quality of evidence was classified according to the GRADE system.

  • 15 studies (7 retrospective) were included (5 of moderate quality, 10 low-quality)
  • The 5-year survival rates for implant-supported single crowns and prostheses were 91% and 94.7%, respectively (implant survival rates: 98.5% and 94.9%, respectively). The underlying scientific evidence was low in quality. No relevant publications were identified regarding the economic aspects of treatment.

The authors concluded

Due to the low scientific evidence of the included studies, it was not possible to compare various treatment methods used for rehabilitation
 of single tooth loss or partial edentulism.


Sunnegardh-Gronberg K, Davidson T, Gynther G, Jemt T, Lekholm U, Nilner K, Nordenram G, Norlund A, Rohlin M, Tranaeus S, Hultin M. Treatment of adult patients with partial edentulism: a systematic review. Int J Prosthodont. 2012 Nov-Dec;25(6):568-81. PubMed PMID: 23101036.

Dental Elf 28th Nov 2012



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Derek Richards

Derek Richards is a specialist in dental public health, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry and Specialist Advisor to the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) Development Team. He is a former editor of the Evidence-Based Dentistry Journal, the chief blogger for the Dental Elf website and a past president of the British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry. He has been involved with a wide range of evidence-based initiatives both nationally and internationally since 1994. Retired from the NHS he is currently a part-time senior lecturer at Dundee Dental School.

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