OBJECTIVE: To assess the survival rate of craniofacial implants (CIs) to support facial prosthesis/epithesis and the prevalence of surgical/biological complications based on previously published studies.
METHODS: An electronic search was undertaken in March/2016. Only studies with a minimum of 5 patients were included. Untransformed proportions of implant failures for different regions were calculated. A meta-analysis evaluated the influence of radiotherapy on the failure rates. A meta-regression was performed considering the follow-up period as covariate.
RESULTS: Seventy publications included 2355 patients and 8184 CIs (545 failures). The probability of a failure was 5.5% for all CIs (95%CI 4.5-6.5, P < 0.001), 1.2% for CIs in the auricular region (95%CI 0.8-1.5, P < 0.001), 12.2% for the nasal region (95%CI 9.0-15.5, P = 0.017), and 12.1% for the orbital region (95%CI 9.3-15.0, P < 0.001). Radiotherapy statistically affected the CIs rates (OR 5.80, 95%CI 3.77-8.92, P < 0.00001). There was no statistically significant influence of the follow-up time on the proportion of implant failures (P = 0.814). Soft tissue adverse reactions were the most common complications.
CONCLUSIONS: Implants placed in the auricular region have a lower probability of failure than those in the nasal and orbital regions. Soft tissue adverse reactions were the most common complications. Radiotherapy significantly affected the CIs failure rates.