The findings of a new systematic review by the Cochrane Oral Health Group suggest that people given antibiotics before having dental implants placed have a reduced risk of implant failure. The study found that 2 or 3 grams of amoxicillin given orally, as a single administration, 1 hour before placement of dental implants reduces implant failures. The patient benefits reported in the study amount to one person avoiding early implant losses for every 25 people given antibiotics.
Although a variety of prophylactic antibiotic regimens have been suggested to prevent infections associated with dental implant placement, their use is controversial because of the known risks of taking antibiotics and a concern that their widespread use could promote antibiotic resistance. In general, prophylactic use of antibiotics in surgery is indicated only for people at risk, when surgery is extensive or performed in infected sites, and when large foreign materials are implanted.
The study included results of 6 randomised controlled clinical trials that compared use of amoxicillin to prevent infection with no treatment or a placebo. A total of 1162 participants, followed for at least 3 months, were included. The authors considered the overall body of evidence to be of moderate quality.
The review did not examine whether there are benefits to using antibiotics postoperatively, or which antibiotic is most effective.