Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry

Prosthodontic complications during implant-based oral rehabilitation of patients with head and neck cancer


      Statement of problem

      Implant-retained prosthodontic rehabilitation of patients with head and neck cancer is complex. However, the extent of prosthodontic complications has been sparsely reported within the literature.


      The purpose of this retrospective study was to describe the range of complications and issues that affected the oral rehabilitation treatment of patients with head and neck cancer who had completed implant-retained prosthodontic rehabilitation in a tertiary treatment center.

      Material and methods

      A retrospective analysis of complications and their consequences in patients treated in a regional unit from 2012 to 2017 was performed. Descriptive analysis was carried out on the type and frequency of complications and their consequences for the patients’ treatment. Complications were grouped into the following complication types: local and systemic, implant, peri-implant soft tissue, and clinical prosthodontic complications. Implant success and implant survival were also reported.


      The sample was composed of 163 patients with head and neck cancer who had completed implant-retained prosthodontic rehabilitation. Local and systemic complications affected 8.6% of patients, and peri-implant soft-tissue complications affected 9.8% of patients. Clinical prosthodontic complications leading to repeated clinical or laboratory stages occurred on 48 occasions in 45 patients (27.6% of patients). A total of 763 implants were placed. Implant survival was 95.8% and implant success 94.5%, with a mean follow-up of 42.1 months.


      This retrospective evaluation indicated that complications arising during the process of implant-retained prosthetic rehabilitation in this patient group were variable and common. Such complications can delay the process of treatment and lead to repeating or restarting clinical and laboratory stages of treatment.
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