Factors affecting survival and success of implants placed in vascularised free composite grafts used in post head and neck cancer reconstruction

Michael R Fenlon, Andrew Lyons, Suzanne Farrell, Kalpesh Bavisha, Avijit Banerjee, Richard M Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Bone-containing vascularized grafts have been used successfully to reconstruct post-cancer surgical defects. Dental implants can be placed in these bone-containing grafts to allow implant-supported prosthodontic reconstruction of these patients.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the survival of dental implants used in the rehabilitation of subjects treated with bone-containing vascularized grafts to compare usability of implants placed at the time of reconstruction and after healing.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was undertaken to examine survival rates of implants placed in vascularized bone-containing grafts either immediately at the time of surgical reconstruction or after 3 months healing. Other factors such as graft type, whether radiation therapy was given, and implant type were recorded.

Results: A total of 41 patients had 145 implants placed in 47 vascularized bone-containing flaps. Increased failure rate of implants was seen in immediately placed implants. There was also a significant increase in the number of osseointegrated implants that were prosthodontically unusable or sub-optimally placed in the immediate placement group. Radiation therapy was associated with a significant increase in failure rate. Modern implant surfaces appeared to perform better than machined/turned surfaces. Graft donor site did not influence implant survival.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated the difficulties encountered with immediate placement of dental implants at the time of post-cancer reconstructive surgery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-272
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Implant Dentistry & Related Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • Bone Transplantation
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dental Implantation, Endosseous
  • Dental Implants
  • Dental Prosthesis Design
  • Dental Prosthesis, Implant-Supported
  • Dental Restoration Failure
  • Dentistry, Operative
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms
  • Humans
  • Mandible
  • Maxilla
  • Osseointegration
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures
  • Surface Properties
  • Surgery, Oral
  • Survival Analysis
  • Transplant Donor Site
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing


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