Nickel hypersensitivity and orthodontic treatment: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Contact Dermatitis. 2015 Jul;73(1):1-14. doi: 10.1111/cod.12392. Epub 2015 Apr 16.
Nickel hypersensitivity and orthodontic treatment: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Gölz L1, Papageorgiou SN1,2, Jäger A1.
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Nickel-containing alloys are widely used in orthodontic appliances, even though nickel is by far the most common contact allergen. However, the scientific evidence concerning allergic reactions to nickel in orthodontic patients has not been evaluated systematically. The objective of this study was to investigate whether the prevalence of nickel hypersensitivity is affected by orthodontic treatment. Unrestricted electronic and manual searches were performed until July 2013 for human clinical studies assessing orthodontic treatment and nickel hypersensitivity. Methodological limitations were evaluated with the Downs and Black tool. Crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) with their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated from random-effects meta-analyses, followed by subgroup and sensitivity analyses. Thirty studies were included in the review, and 24 datasets with 10 184 patients in the meta-analyses. Orthodontic treatment had no significant effect on nickel hypersensitivity (n = 11; crude OR 0.99; 95%CI: 0.78-1.25; p = 0.914). However, when confounding from factors such as sex and piercings was taken into account, orthodontic treatment was associated with a lower risk of hypersensitivity (n = 1; adjusted OR 0.60; 95%CI: 0.40-0.80; p < 0.001). This was even more pronounced when orthodontic treatment was performed prior to piercing (n = 7; crude OR 0.35; 95%CI: 0.24-0.50; p < 0.001). Orthodontic treatment seems to have a protective role against nickel hypersensitivity, especially when it precedes piercings.

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