The purpose of this study was to analyze the long-term success and factors potentially influencing the success of dental implants placed in patients with head and neck cancer who underwent radiation therapy with a minimum total dose of 50Gy during the years 1995-2010. Thirty-five patients (169 dental implants) were included in this study. Data on demographic characteristics, tumour type, radiation therapy, implant sites, implant dimensions, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) were obtained from the medical records and analyzed. Implant survival was estimated using Kaplan-Meier survival curves. Seventy-nine dental implants were placed in the maxilla and 90 in the mandible. The mean follow-up after implant installation was 7.4 years (range 0.3-14.7 years). The overall 5-year survival rate for all implants was 92.9%. Sex (P<0.001) and the mode of radiation therapy delivery (P=0.005) had a statistically significant influence on implant survival. Age, time of implantation after irradiation, implant brand and dimensions, and HBOT had no statistically significant influence on implant survival. Osseointegrated dental implants can be used successfully in the oral rehabilitation of patients with head and neck cancer with a history of radiation therapy. Risk factors such as sex and the mode of radiation therapy delivery can affect implant survival.
Keywords: dental implants; head and neck cancer; irradiated patients; radiation therapy.
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