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Conventional and implant-based mandibular oral rehabilitation for patients with head and neck cancer


Surgical treatment of head and neck cancer can cause loss of teeth, loss of hard and soft tissues and result in significantly altered anatomy. Prosthodontic rehabilitation for such patients can be challenging, requiring pre-surgical planning at a time-sensitive point in the patient's cancer pathway. Rehabilitative outcomes are optimised by early and collaborative planning at the multidisciplinary team discussion, involving surgeons, oncologists and consultants in restorative dentistry. Conventional and implant-based prosthodontics contribute to the armamentarium of rehabilitative approaches used in this patient cohort. In order to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients, collaborative planning and teamworking between head and neck surgeons and restorative dental consultants is required from the outset. Each plan is bespoke, considering the patient's needs and wishes within the context of their holistic and cancer-specific care and their general and dental health.

Key points

  • All patients planned for surgical treatment for head and neck cancer should have the need for an oral rehabilitation plan discussed with the multidisciplinary team.

  • Optimal prosthetic rehabilitation is achieved by close collaboration between the ablative surgeon and the restorative dentistry consultant.

  • Implant-borne prostheses should be considered wherever feasible to optimise rehabilitation outcomes.

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The authors would like to acknowledge Mr Tim Blackburn (oral and maxillofacial head and neck surgeon) who completed the surgery presented in the clinical cases alongside Sajid Sainuddin.

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Authors and Affiliations



Carly L. Taylor wrote the initial manuscript and undertook the prosthodontic rehabilitation of the presented cases. Sajid Sainuddin wrote the surgical components of the manuscript and undertook the surgery in some of the presented cases. Lorna K. McCaul edited the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Carly L. Taylor.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Taylor, C., Sainuddin, S. & McCaul, L. Conventional and implant-based mandibular oral rehabilitation for patients with head and neck cancer. Br Dent J 233, 749–756 (2022).

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