Prophylactic antibiotic regimen and dental implant failure: a meta-analysis

J Oral Rehabil. 2014 Dec;41(12):941-56. doi: 10.1111/joor.12211. Epub 2014 Jul 8.


The aim of this meta-analysis was to investigate whether there are any positive effects of prophylactic antibiotic regimen on implant failure rates and post-operative infection when performing dental implant treatment in healthy individuals. An electronic search without time or language restrictions was undertaken in March 2014. Eligibility criteria included clinical human studies, either randomised or not. The search strategy resulted in 14 publications. The I(2) statistic was used to express the percentage of the total variation across studies due to heterogeneity. The inverse variance method was used with a fixed- or random-effects model, depending on the heterogeneity. The estimates of relative effect were expressed in risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence interval. Six studies were judged to be at high risk of bias, whereas one study was considered at moderate risk, and six studies were considered at low risk of bias. The test for overall effect showed that the difference between the procedures (use versus non-use of antibiotics) significantly affected the implant failure rates (P = 0.0002), with a RR of 0.55 (95% CI 0.41-0.75). The number needed to treat (NNT) to prevent one patient having an implant failure was 50 (95% CI 33-100). There were no apparent significant effects of prophylactic antibiotics on the occurrence of post-operative infections in healthy patients receiving implants (P = 0.520). A sensitivity analysis did not reveal difference when studies judged as having high risk of bias were not considered. The results have to be interpreted with caution due to the presence of several confounding factors in the included studies.

Keywords: antibiotic prophylaxis; dental implants; implant failure rate; meta-analysis; post-operative infection.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis*
  • Dental Implants / adverse effects*
  • Dental Restoration Failure*
  • Humans
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*


  • Dental Implants