Purpose: The objective was to make an inventory of systematic reviews in the field of
prosthodontics and to assess the strength of evidence yielded by these studies. Materials
and Methods: The literature was searched using MEDLINE (keywords “dental” in subset
combined with “meta-analysis” in publication type, and “dental” in subset combined
with “systematic review”). Reviews related to prosthodontics were selected by hand.
Analogies between the reviewing processes were assessed, and the quality was described.
Results: There were 138 articles qualifying as either systematic reviews or meta-analyses.
Of these, 13 reported pooled data on prosthodontic subjects. Two pairs of reviews were
identified as dealing with comparable items; the others described all different subjects. In
one pair, the studies reviewed the survival of conventional fixed partial dentures (FPD);
the other pair was on single-tooth implants. The pooled results within each pair were
almost equal. For the FPD reviews, 65% of the unity of studies was included in both
reviews. For the single-tooth implants, 29% of the potentially useful studies were
included in both reviews. The data pooling processes showed the same pattern. One
large study included in both reviews explained a large part of the similarity of the
combined survivals of FPDs. For the single-tooth implant reviews, the largest common
study explained 20% of the similarity. Conclusion: Although there were methodologic
differences between the paired reviews, they produced similar results. The outcomes of
the evaluated reviews may be used as prognostic data; however, they cannot be used for
direct comparison of treatments. Int J Prosthodont 2003;16:123–127.