Implant-prosthetic rehabilitation after radiation treatment in head and neck cancer patients: a case-series report of outcome
Slovenia has a high burden of head and neck cancer. Patients are mostly treated with surgery followed by radiation therapy. Advanced surgical and prosthodontic techniques have expanded the rehabilitation options. The aim of the study was to review the outcome of implant-prosthetic treatment after radiation therapy.
Materials and methods:
20 irradiated head and neck cancer patients who received a removable implant-supported denture at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana were included in the study. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, Cox proportional hazard models and logistic regression were used to assess the implant survival and success rate.
20 patients had 100 implants inserted. The estimated survival rate was 96% after 1 year and 87% after 5 years. Failures were mostly observed before loading (91.2%). Implants inserted in the transplanted bone were significantly more likely to fail. Out of 89 implants supporting the dentures, 79 implants (88.7%) were successful, meaning that they were functionally loaded and exhibited no pain, radiolucency or progressive bone loss. Prosthetic treatment was significanly less successful in older patients. The attachment system and the number of implants did not have a statistically significant influence on the success rate.
Implant-supported dentures have been shown to be a reliable treatment modality after head and neck cancer surgery and radiation therapy. Possible early failures should be communicated with the patients.