Osseointegrated implant rehabilitation of irradiated oral cancer patients

Journal of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, Vol. 70, Issue 5, 2012


The aim of this study is to analyze implant survival in patients who received radiotherapy treatment for oral malignancies and in patients who had suffered mandibular osteoradionecrosis.


We reviewed retrospectively 225 implants placed in 30 patients who had received radiotherapy as part of the oncologic treatment. Radiation doses ranged between 50 and 70 Gy. 39 implants were placed after a combined treatment of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Data referred to tumour type and reconstruction, presence of osteoradionecrosis, region of implant installation and type of prostheses were recorded. Survival rates were calculated with cumu- lative Kaplan-Meier survival curves and compared between different groups with a log-rank test.


152 osseointegrated implants were placed in patients who presented previous reconstruction procedure. Five patients developed osteorradionecrosis as a complication of the radiotherapy treatment. Once osteoradionecrosis had healed in these patients, 41 implants were installed. The overall 5 year survival rate in irradiated patients was 92.6%. Irradiated patients had a marginally significantly higher implant loss than non-irradiated patients. (p = 0.063). The 5 year survival rate in the osteoradionecrosis group was of 48.3% and in the non-osteoradionecrosis group 92.3%, with a statistically significant difference between both groups (p = 0.002).


Osseointegrated implants enhance oral rehabilitation in most irradiated patients, even being an acceptable option for patients who had suffered osteoradionecrosis. Totally implantsu- pported prostheses are recommended after irradiation providing functional, stable and aesthetically satisfactory rehabilitation.

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