DOI: 10.1111/jcpe.13850 ISSN: 0303-6979

Comparative evidence of different surgical techniques for the management of vertical alveolar ridge defects in terms of complications and efficacy: A systematic review and network meta‐analysis

Faisal F. Alotaibi, Isabella Rocchietta, Jacopo Buti, Francesco D'Aiuto
  • Periodontics



To systematically appraise the available evidence on vertical ridge augmentation (VRA) techniques and estimate a treatment‐based ranking on the incidence of complications as well as their clinical effectiveness.

Materials and Methods

Searches were conducted in six databases to identify randomized clinical trials comparing VRA techniques up to November 2022. The incidence of complications (primary) and of early, major, surgical and intra‐operative complications, vertical bone gain (VBG), marginal bone loss, need for additional grafting, implant success/survival, and patient‐reported outcome measures (secondary) were chosen as outcomes. Direct and indirect effects and treatment ranking were estimated using Bayesian pair‐wise and network meta‐analysis (NMA) models.


Thirty‐two trials (761 participants and 943 defects) were included. Five NMA models involving nine treatment groups were created: onlay, inlay, dense‐polytetrafluoroethylene, expanded‐polytetrafluoroethylene, titanium, resorbable membranes, distraction osteogenesis, tissue expansion and short implants. Compared with short implants, statistically significant higher odds ratios of healing complications were confirmed for all groups except those with resorbable membranes (odds ratio 5.4, 95% credible interval 0.92–29.14). The latter group, however, ranked last in clinical VBG.


VRA techniques achieving greater VBG are also associated with higher incidence of healing complications. Guided bone regeneration techniques using non‐resorbable membranes yield the most favourable results in relation to VBG and complications.

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