Aim: This study evaluated, through a systematic review of the literature, the outcome of single-implant restorations in the aesthetic zone with natural adjacent teeth, thereby addressing immediate, early and conventional implant approaches.
Material and Methods: MEDLINE (1950–2008), EMBASE (1966–2008), and CENTRAL (1800–2008) were searched to identify eligible studies. Two reviewers independently assessed the methodological quality using specific study-design-related assessment forms.
Results: Out of 86 primarily selected articles, 19 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. A meta-analysis showed an overall survival rate of 95.5% [95% confidence interval: (93.0–97.1)] after 1 year. A stratified meta-analysis revealed no differences in survival between immediate, early and conventional implant strategies. Little marginal peri-implant bone resorption was found together with low incidence of biological and technical complications. No significant differences in outcome measures were reported in clinical trials comparing immediate, early or conventional implant strategies.
Conclusion: The included literature suggested that promising short-term results could be achieved for immediate, early and conventional single-implants in the aesthetic zone. However, important parameters as aesthetic outcome, soft-tissue aspects, and patient satisfaction were clearly underexposed. The question whether immediate and early single-implant therapies would result in better treatment outcomes remained inconclusive due to lack of well-designed controlled clinical studies.