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Concept: Palatal obturator

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The aim of this study was to evaluate swallowing, speech and quality of life in patients undergoing surgery for malignant tumors involving soft palate. We performed a cross sectional study of 23 patients (aged 32-80 years), submitted to soft palate resection, free of disease for at least 1 year. Primary closure of the surgical defect was performed in 5 patients (21.7 %), adaptation of a palatal obturator prosthesis in 2 (8.7 %), myocutaneous flap in 5 (21.7 %), local flap in 2 (8.7 %) and microsurgical free flap in 9 (39.1 %). All patients were submitted to fibreoptic endoscopic evaluation and completed functional and quality of life questionnaires. Functional evaluation of swallowing showed higher prevalence of pooling of food in the nasopharynx in patients submitted to regional flap reconstruction or primary closure (53.9 %). Swallowing difficulties were predominantly related to solid foods (54.5 %) and were associated with more extensive palatal resections. Most individuals submitted to reconstruction with microsurgical flaps had satisfactory velopharyngeal mobility (87 %). The presence of nasal air escape or velopharyngeal gap was minimal in most of the sample. Hypernasality contributed minimally to imprecisions in speech articulation or intelligibility. Vocal alteration did not impact patients' quality of life. Pharyngeal phase of swallowing was satisfactory in most patients. However, nasal reflux and penetration were present in a few patients. Most patients had minimal phono-articulatory alterations as a global outcome. Scores of swallowing and speech parameters regarding the questionnaires used were high, demonstrating minor impact on quality of life.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Swallowing, Soft palate, Palate, Hard palate, Nasalization, Palatal obturator

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BACKGROUND: In addition to prosthetic rehabilitation, maxillary defects can also be surgically reconstructed. Soft-tissue reconstruction employs a radial forearm or latissimus dorsi muscle flap, while bony reconstruction can be achieved using a fibula, iliac crest, or scapular flap. Reconstruction using a scapular flap is further divided into two subgroups: the traditional scapular flap with the circumflex scapular artery as the donor vessel and the scapular angle flap with the angular artery originating from the thoracodorsal artery as the donor vessel. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We report on four patients who underwent successful reconstruction with a free scapular angle flap between 2009 and 2011, following maxillary resection due to malignancy. RESULTS: Vertical positioning of the scapular angle flap enables reconstruction of the facial contour, whereas its horizontal alignment and microvascular anastomosis makes a bony reconstruction of the hard palate possible. CONCLUSIONS: The versatility, low rate of donor site morbidity and shape of the scapular angle flap-which resembles that of the hard palate-render it ideal for plastic reconstruction. The suitability of bone quality for dental rehabilitation with implants is a topic of controversial discussion. The scapular angle flap represents an alternative to obturator prosthesis for the reconstruction of maxillary defects ≥ grade I according to Okay et al.

Concepts: Reconstruction era of the United States, Reconstruction, Latissimus dorsi muscle, Iliac crest, Thoracodorsal nerve, Subscapular artery, Arteries of the upper limb, Palatal obturator

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For an implant restoration to be both esthetically and functionally successful, the prosthodontist must conduct a thorough treatment plan and complete a prosthesis design. The prosthodontist must carefully calculate the space needed for the restoration and soft tissue in the restoration process. The restoration and soft tissue are affected by the three-dimensional (3D) position of the implant, as the implant’s depth determines the ideal length of the crown. When determining the 3D position of the implant, the clinician must consider the biological aspects required to ensure the restoration’s biological integration with the patient’s hard and soft tissues. The restoration must be the first component considered in the treatment plan. In addition, the clinician must understand that the distance between the cervical contour (of the planned restoration) and the level of the bone will dictate how the surgical and prosthetic treatment plan is enacted. In this report, a novel Radiographic Biological Ruler© (with biological information) was used to help facilitate the treatment plan’s analysis.

Concepts: Tissues, Prosthetics, Soft tissue, Amputation, Prosthesis, Dentures, Palatal obturator

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BACKGROUND: The treatment of mandibular edentulism with implant fixed complete dental prostheses (IFCDPs) is a routinely used treatment option. PURPOSE: The study aims to report the implant and prosthodontic survival rates associated with IFCDPs for the edentulous mandible after an observation period of a minimum 5 years. MATERIALS AND METHODS: An electronic MEDLINE/PubMED search was conducted to identify randomized controlled clinical trials and prospective studies with IFCDPs for the edentulous mandible. Clinical studies with at least 5-year follow-up were selected. Pooled data were statistically analyzed and cumulative implant- and prosthesis survival rates were calculated by meta-analysis, regression, and chi-square statistics. Implant-related and prosthesis-related factors were identified and their impact on survival rates was assessed. RESULTS: Seventeen prospective studies, including 501 patients and 2,827 implants, were selected for meta-analysis. The majority of the implants (88.5% of all placed implants) had been placed in the interforaminal area. Cumulative implant survival rates for rough surface ranged from 98.42% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 97.98-98.86) (5 years) to 96.86% (95% CI: 96.00-97.73) (10 years); smooth surface implant survival rates ranged from 98.93% (95% CI: 98.38-99.49) (5 years) to 97.88% (95% CI: 96.78-98.98) (10 years). The prosthodontic survival rates for 1-piece IFCDPs ranged from 98.61% (95% CI: 97.80-99.43) (5 years) to 97.25% (95% CI: 95.66-98.86) (10 years). CONCLUSION: Treatment with mandibular IFCDPs yields high implant and prosthodontic survival rates (more than 96% after 10 years). Rough surface implants exhibited cumulative survival rates similar to the smooth surface ones (p > .05) in the edentulous mandible. The number of supporting implants and the antero-posterior implant distribution had no influence (p > .05) on the implant survival rate. The prosthetic design and veneering material, the retention type, and the loading protocol (delayed, early, and immediate) had no influence (p > .05) on the prosthodontic survival rates.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Clinical trial, Evidence-based medicine, Implants, Prosthetics, Dental implant, Prosthesis, Palatal obturator

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Patients who have maxillectomy can be rehabilitated with reconstructive surgery or obturator prostheses with or without osseointegratable implants. To identify studies on possible treatments in this group, we systematically searched the Scopus, Embase, PubMed/Medline, and Cochrane databases to collect data on patients' characteristics, radiotherapy, and results related to speech, swallowing, mastication or diet, chewing, aesthetics, and quality of life. Of the 1376 papers found, six were included, and one other was included after an additional search of references. A total of 252 patients were included, and of them, 86 had reconstructive surgery, 91 were treated with obturator prostheses, 39 had reconstructive surgery or obturator prostheses associated with implants, and 36 had reconstruction plus an obturator prosthesis. Data on radiotherapy were incomplete. There is a lack of consensus about the indication for rehabilitation, as the treatment must be based on the individual characteristics of each patient.

Concepts: Medicine, Hospital, Surgery, Implants, Amputation, Reconstructive surgery, Oral and maxillofacial surgery, Palatal obturator

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Palatomaxillary defects were historically restored with a prosthetic obturator; however, advances in local and free tissue transfer has provided a viable alternative for appropriately selected patients with palatomaxillary defects.

Concepts: Palatal obturator

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The aim of this study was to determine the sociodemographic, behavioral, and clinical factors affecting obturator function and satisfaction using the obturator functioning scale (OFS) in maxillectomy patients rehabilitated with obturator prostheses.

Concepts: Prosthetics, Prosthesis, Palatal obturator

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We report an unusual case of a young Quarter Horse with a large dental fracture fragment displaced into the maxillary sinus, leaving an oroantral communication that caused food impaction and metaplastic calcification in the sinus and facial deformation with cutaneous fistulation. Oral extraction of a remaining tooth fragment from its alveolus was succeeded by a maxillary sinusotomy for removal of the abnormal sinus contents. Since the oroantral fistula did not heal spontaneously following the placement of a silicone dental prosthesis, minimally invasive transbuccal and transnasal endoscopic approaches were used to encourage closure of the oroantral fistula by alveolar granulation. The clinical, diagnostic, and therapeutic features of this case may be helpful to clinicians when dealing with similar cases.

Concepts: Sinusitis, Minimally invasive, Prosthetics, Maxillary sinus, Fistula, Posterior superior alveolar nerve, Palatal obturator, Anterior superior alveolar nerve

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To retrospectively evaluate complications associated with overdentures and abutment teeth restored with metal copings, including post-procedural and prosthetic problems; also to analyze the frequency and influencing factors associated with these problems.

Concepts: Dentures, Palatal obturator

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The aim of this study was to compare the perceived competence for treating prosthodontic patients of two samples of fourth-year dental students: those educated using traditional methodologies and those educated using problem-based learning (PBL). Two cohorts of fourth-year dental students at a dental school in Spain were surveyed: the traditional methods cohort (n=46) was comprised of all students in academic years 2012 and 2013, and the PBL cohort (n=57) was comprised of all students in academic years 2014 and 2015. Students in both cohorts reported the number of prosthodontic treatments they carried out per year and their perceived level of competence in performing such treatments. The results showed that the average number of treatments performed was similar for the two cohorts, except the number of metal-based removable partial dentures was significantly higher for students in the traditional (0.8±1.0) than the PBL (0.4±0.6) cohort. The level of perceived competence to treat complete denture patients for the combined cohorts was significantly higher (7.3±1.1) than that for partial acrylic dentures (6.7±1.5) and combined dentures (5.7±1.3). Students' clinical competence in prosthodontics mainly depended on number of treatments performed as the operator as well as the assistant. Students in the traditional methods cohort considered themselves to be significantly more competent at treating patients for removable partial and fixed prostheses (7.8±1.1 and 7.6±1.1, respectively) than did students in the PBL cohort (6.4±1.5 and 6.6±1.5, respectively). Overall, however, the study found that practical experiences were more important than the teaching method used to achieve students' perceived competence.

Concepts: Education, Dentures, Restorative dentistry, Removable partial denture, American Dental Association, Prosthodontology, Prosthodontics, Palatal obturator