Protocols For Implant Supported Reconstruction Of The Craniofacial Skeleton

Dale Howes

 Dale Howes

Head and neck tumours are now more common both in incidence and mortality than breast cancer! 

Ablation of parts of the craniofacial skeleton causes significant quality of life compromise.  It can be said that these patients suffer the greatest morbidity and quality of life disruption of all the bodily functions as the disease process affects the very five senses offering that quality of life.

The alteration of these structures by surgery or trauma commonly alter the life supporting functions of eating and speaking due to the excision of the bony and soft tissue skeleton.

Dental implants can offer the required stability, retention and resistance for prosthodontic rehabilitation of missing parts of the craniofacial skeleton in patients with and without advanced microvascular surgery.

In South Africa we have developed fixtures and protocols for implant supported craniofacial rehabilitation to help reduce treatment time, cost morbidity and restore oral function.

This lecture will highlight these fixtures and protocols with and without microvascular surgery for the rehabilitation of head and neck tumours, particularly in malignant disease requiring radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Learning Objectives:

  • To understand treatment alternatives in craniofacial rehabilitation following tumour ablation
  • To be able to counsel patients undergoing such treatment
  • To be better able to assist with preradiation dental assessment and implant supported rehabilitation in these patients