Purpose: The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the effectiveness of the socket shield technique (SST), an innovative surgical method introduced in 2010, for reducing buccal bone plate resorption. Methods: The review was conducted following the PRISMA guidelines. Clinical studies conducted in humans and investigating the SST were searched on PubMed (MEDLINE), Embase, Web of Knowledge, and Google Scholar in November and December 2021. The implant survival rate, percentage of complications, and clinical parameters (marginal bone loss [MBL], pink esthetic score [PES], and buccal bone plate resorption [BBPR]) were analyzed using the collected data. Results: The initial search resulted in 132 articles. After article screening, the full texts of 19 studies were read and 17 articles were finally included in the review. In total, 656 implants were installed with the SST. Nine of the 656 implants experienced failure, resulting in an implant survival rate of 98.6%. The percentage of complications was about 3.81%. The analysis of clinical parameters (MBL, PES, and BBPR), showed favorable results for the SST. The mean MBL in implants placed with the SST was 0.39±0.28 mm versus 1.00±0.55 mm in those placed without the SST. PES had a better outcome in the SST group, with an average of 12.08±1.18 versus 10.77±0.74. BBPR had more favorable results in implants placed with the SST (0.32±0.10 mm) than in implants placed with the standard technique (1.05±0.18 mm). Conclusions: The SST could be considered beneficial for preserving the buccal bone plate. However, since only 7 of the included studies were long-term randomized controlled trials comparing the SST with the standard implant placement technique, the conclusions drawn from this systematic review should be interpreted with caution.
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