Protocols for implant placement in oral cancer patients examined

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

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A recent study compared two protocols for implant placement in edentulous oral cancer patients. The study, from researchers at University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, looked at implant placement during ablative surgery versus delayed implant placement and compared costs and clinical outcomes.

Current practice for the rehabilitation of oral cancer patients favours placing implants following a disease-free period of at least six months. However, recent studies have reported promising results for implants placed during ablative surgery. These studies suggest that such an approach can lead to better long-term masticatory function, which is particularly important for restoring quality of life.

The researchers used data gathered from edentulous patients who had received curative tumour surgery between 2007 and 2009. They found that the rates of implant failure were not significantly different between the two protocols. The main difference between the approaches was that individual costs were much lower for implant placement during ablative surgery. The cost of procedures involving delayed placement was 86% higher per patient.

Higher treatment costs are associated with procedures involving delayed placement because they typically require hyperbaric oxygen therapy as well as general anaesthesia, both of which necessitate the use of more hospital resources. Placement during ablative surgery only requires extra surgery time, and therefore lower associated costs. This study first appeared in Clinical Oral Implants Research.