Background: This article critically appraises a systematic review conducted in 2015 that evaluated the efficacy of air polishing on peri-implant disease when compared with other nonsurgical treatments.
Clinical question: In patients with peri-implant disease, what is the efficacy of air polishing on changing signs of inflammation compared with other nonsurgical treatments?
Summary of methods and results: Electronic and manual searches in related journals were performed. Two authors independently screened titles and abstracts of the identified studies, assessed the methodologic quality, and performed data extraction of the identified studies. Prospective randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or nonrandomized controlled clinical trials (CCTs) that compared air polishing with control measures for the nonsurgical treatment of peri-implant disease were included. Bleeding on probing (BOP) score was defined as the primary outcome, and a secondary outcome was the change in pocket depth (PD). The pooled data of two RCTs revealed that the weighted mean difference in BOP reduction between the two groups was −23.83% ± 12.06 (P = .048; 95% confidence interval [CI] = −47.47 to −0.20). The weighted mean difference in PD reduction was −0.37 mm ± 0.23 (P = .119; CI = −0.84 to 0.096).
Critical appraisal: This systematic review had a limited number of trials, which were judged to be at high risk of bias with small sample size. Therefore, the results should be interpreted with caution.
Practical implication: To maintain healthy tissues around dental implants, it is important to institute an effective preventive program. When a pathologic condition of the tissues around implants is diagnosed, a therapeutic intervention starting with simple nonsurgical modalities (eg, air polishing) should be initiated as soon as possible.