Can A Cancer Patient Be Treated With Dental Implants?

Dealing with cancer on any level can be devastating, often causing the patient’s life to be put on hold. Chemotherapy and radiation, the most prevalent cancer treatments used to kill off cancer cells, unfortunately also kill good cells during the process, resulting in devastating side effects that affect the entire body, particularly the gastrointestinal tract and mouth. These problems to the mouth–according to the Oral Cancer Foundation–vary, including pain and infection, caries (soft tissue issues), hypovascularization (reduction in blood vessels and blood supply) of the bones, and extensive tooth decay. If the cancer patient has pre-existing dental issues, such as broken teeth, poor condition of existing crowns, fillings, bridges, or partial dentures, or periodontal disease, it raises the risk for experiencing such side effects and creates an arduous recovery. In head, neck and oral cancer cases, surgery resections are often performed to eradicate cancerous cells and tissues, causing mouth deformities and
disfigurement, speech and chewing difficulties, and dry mouth. These issues greatly lower the patient’s quality of life, social and personally.

In order to restore these surgical removals, Implant Dentistry is the best option; it creates more stability than dentures within the mouth, and allows the patient to speak and chew normally. According to a study published in the June 2011 issue of the Australian Dental Journal (also published online via the National Center for Biotechnology Information), patients diagnosed with cancer can greatly benefit from dental implants. The study was conducted over a 15-year period, during which dental implants were placed in cancer patients following the surgical removal of the cancer. The clinicians discovered a retention rate of 110 out of the 115 implants placed, concluding that Implant Dentistry plays a key role in oral rehabilitation in cancer patients.

Dentists may caution against dental implants; yet, due to their lack of knowledge and surgical ability, they are not qualified to conduct such treatments. Yet, cancer patients can depend on board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons, such as dental implant Chicago clinicians located at Eon Clinics. Their team of doctors have years of experience, are ranked among the top of their field, and have a high success rate with Implant Dentistry.

Cancer diagnoses create a myriad of physical, mental, and emotional hardships, especially when the mouth and teeth are affected. Many patients resort to removable dentures that cause discomfort, slippage and a loss of self-worth. But these patients have a better option: dental implants, which are permanent, bring back structure and stability to the mouth, and bring back self-confidence, easing both the body and mind back to its natural state.

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