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Volume 17 , Issue 4
July/August 2002

Pages 573–580

Rehabilitation of Patients with Congenital Unrepaired Cleft Palate Defects Using Free Iliac Crest Bone Grafts and Dental Implants

Juhani Laine, DDS, PhD, Kimmo Vähätalo, DDS, Juha Peltola, DDS, Tapio Tammisalo, DDS, PhD, Risto-Pekka Happonen, DDS, PhD

PMID: 12182301

Purpose: To rehabilitate the mastication and speech of edentulous congenital cleft lip and palate patients with the use of endosseous implants in conjunction with bone augmentation. Materials and Methods: Between 1992 and 1999, 6 partially and 4 completely edentulous adult patients with complex cleft palate defects were treated. Six patients had large, unrepaired defects of the hard and soft palate, whereas the other 4 had residual oronasal fistulas after failed palatoplasty and bone grafting. In 8 patients, free inlay-antral and simultaneous lateral-onlay bone grafts (3 patients) were obtained from the iliac crest, and dental implants were placed secondarily. In the other 2 patients, the implants were placed without grafting in recent extraction sites. Rigid bars with extensions over the defects were used to support obturator prostheses (n = 7), or patients were provided with fixed implant-supported prostheses (n = 3). In all, 50 cylindric, screw-type dental implants were placed and followed up for 1 to 8 years (mean, 5 years). Results: Six implants were regarded as early failures and 1 was lost during the first year of loading; 1 patient lost all 5 implants. The cumulative success rate at 5 years was 85.7%. Discussion and Conclusion: All 9 successfully rehabilitated patients reported a remarkable functional and psychologic improvement after the treatment. The described treatment protocol also seemed to be effective for correcting velopharyngeal insufficiency in patients using an obturator prosthesis. (INT J ORAL MAXILLOFAC IMPLANTS 2002;17:573–580)

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