Critical appraisal of evidence supporting the placement of dental implants in patients with neurodegenerative diseases

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Objective:To assess the available scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness and complications associated with using dental implants in patients with neurodegenerative diseases.Materials and Methods:PubMed, EMBASE, Biosis Citation Index, CINAHL, Web of Science and LILACS electronic databases were searched, with the last search performed on 20 May 2013. Reference lists of the included systematic reviews were manually reviewed. No restriction regarding the study design or publication language was applied for study inclusion. Only studies involving human subjects were included. In case randomised or other controlled trials were identified, methodological assessment of included studies was planned.Results:Fifty-eight potential papers were initially retrieved from the electronic databases. Eleven papers were finally included. No randomised controlled trial or other controlled trial was found. Eight papers were case reports and three were case series. The sample included three types of neurodegenerative diseases: dementia, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. Generally, the reports showed improvements in chewing function and quality of life after the placement of implants and prostheses. Nevertheless, the follow-up time was typically short (≤12 months), and the overall sample size was small (N = 22 patients). Inclusion of studies without controls prevented a more robust methodological assessment from being performed.Conclusions:The results of the included reports suggest positive outcomes for dental implant use in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Nevertheless, more robust studies, with better design and longer follow-ups, are needed to set strategies to prevent and treat potential complications in patients with neurodegenerative disorders treated with dental implants.

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