Purpose: To evaluate the current scientific evidence on estimating cumulative risk for biologic complications relating to dental implants and to develop a patient-centered risk assessment tool for establishing aggregate risk.
Materials and methods: A review of the scientific literature on risk indicators relating to dental implants was completed with the goal of identifying and weighting individual risk indicators so aggregate biologic risk could be estimated. Three authors completed independent reviews of the literature, identifying 31 systematic reviews on risk indicators for biologic complications with dental implants, from which 24 potential risk indicators were considered. Due to inconclusive scientific data on risk indicators, a Delphi process was used to gather structured expert opinion to supplement findings from the literature. Eleven Delphi participants with expertise in prosthodontics or periodontics participated in two email exchanges and one face-to-face meeting to comment and debate on the initial identification and weighting of risk indicators, propose the addition or removal of risk indicators, and provide recommended clinical management for each risk indicator.
Results: After three rounds of debate, literature review, and additions and removals of various risk indicators, consensus (defined as 95% or more in agreement) was achieved on 20 risk indicators. The Delphi group concluded that the risk indicators of smoking, diabetes, antiresorptive agents, and cemented restorations should include subcategories to more accurately identify and represent patient-specific risk. Clinical recommendations based on individual and aggregate risk were established by consensus.
Conclusion: The literature on risk indicators for biologic complications was conflicting and inconclusive. The Delphi method was used to identify and establish the weighting of individual risk indicators, resulting in a risk assessment tool for estimating aggregate risk.