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Volume 17 , Issue 5
September/October 2004

Pages 512-517

The Use of Implant-Supported Prostheses in the Functional and Psychosocial Rehabilitation of Tumor Patients

Frauke Müller, Prof Dr Med Dent/Michael Schädler, Dr Med Dent/Ulrich Wahlmann, Priv-Doz Dr Med, Dr Med Dent/James P. Newton, PhD, BDS, BSc, MFDSRCS(Eng), FDSRCS(Edin)

PMID: 15543906

Purpose: The present study investigated the residual functional constraints as well as the psychosocial rehabilitation of tumor patients following prosthetic treatment with implant-supported dentures. Materials and Methods: A clinical examination and semistructured interview were performed in 66 of 132 consecutive patients who underwent tumor resection and subsequent implant-supported restoration between 1985 and 1997. Results: Functional and psychosocial constraints were improved by between 91% (general comfort) and 47% (social reintegration) of all cases, but these constraints were never fully compensated for. Restrictions in tongue mobility, loss of sensation, and radiotherapy-induced hyposalivation led to problems in chewing and swallowing, which were hardly improved by prosthetic rehabilitation. The best subjective assessments referred to appearance, followed by masticatory improvement and denture retention. Conclusion: Functional impairment cannot be fully compensated by implant-supported prosthodontic reconstructions, but such treatment contributes essentially to general well-being and relief of disease-related social restrictions.

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